Skyline Preseason Poll Released with Rams Season Ready to Start
Lawrenceville, N.J. - The Skyline Conference Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll was released on Wednesday, February 20th as the 2008 season quickly approaches and the Rams open the season on Saturday, March 1st at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. With a deep and talented roster, Montclair State University heads into the 2008 men's lacrosse season as the team to beat in the six-team Skyline Conference. The Red Hawks were the unanimous choice of the Skyline Conference coaches, earning five first-place votes and 25 points. Just two points separated the next three teams, with Richard Stockton (17), Maritime (16) and Kean (15) close behind in what is expected to be a wide-open race when conference play commences in April.
Last season, Montclair State compiled an 11-7 overall record and
a 7-2 mark in conference play. The Red Hawks advanced to the
championship game of the ECAC Metro Tournament. Senior attack Brian
Klimchak, the team's leading goal scorer last season (36 goals),
leads the Montclair State offense. Sophomore defenseman Patrick
Ferry, the 2007 Skyline Rookie of the Year, anchors the defense
along with junior goalie Thomas Bowers.
Stockton welcomes back six of its top seven scorers from last year's squad that went 7-6 overall and 5-4 in conference play. Junior attack Keith Bologno was a second team All-Skyline selection last year after leading the Ospreys with 49 points on 25 goals and 24 assists. Junior Steve Mazurek and sophomore Josh Dybus scored 34 and 22 goals respectively.
Maritime, which went 6-7 overall and 4-5 in conference play last year, could be poised for a breakthrough year as well. The Privateers are led by senior midfielder D.J. Toby, one of the top faceoff men in the country. In addition to averaging 10.4 ground balls per game, Toby, a first team All-Skyline selection, recorded a team-leading 54 points on 31 goals and 23 assists. Sophomore Lawrence Montreuil and junior Keith Fricke scored 25 and 23 goals respectively.
Kean (11-7, 5-4 Skyline) was a surprise last season with a fourth-place finish. The Cougars will have to replace attackman Steve Gill, one of the top players in the program's history. Senior Dennis Lukacsko (24 goals) and sophomores Anthony Bertucci (20 goals) and Scott Leathem (18 goals) will look to pick up the slack. Senior goalie Dave Nichols leads an experienced defense.
Farmingdale State and Mount Saint Vincent will look to build behind new head coaches Tim Tuttle and Dan Mulholland.
The Rams finished last year with a 5-10 record and will have to recover from the loss of All-Time leading scorer Ryan LaFlare (46 goals in '07), but the experience of senior attackmen/captain Joe Meola (26 goals, 21 assists) and senior midfielder/captain Jay Berndt will help lead the new style of play at Farmingdale. With twelve newcomers to Coach Tuttle's squad, some talented returners on the attacking end, and mostly upperclassmen on defense, it looks to be an exciting season.
SKYLINE CONFERENCE MEN'S LACROSSE 2008 PRESEASON COACHES'
1. Montclair State (5) 25
2. Richard Stockton (1) 17
3. Maritime 16
4. Kean 15
5. Farmingdale State 12
6. Mount Saint Vincent 5
(first-place votes in parentheses)