Skyline Releases Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll

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Skyline Releases Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll

- Rams selected to finish fourth -

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – After going unbeaten in Skyline Conference regular-season play last year, Montclair State has been selected as the Skyline Conference preseason favorite in men's lacrosse by the league's six head coaches. The Red Hawks, who earned three first-place votes and 23 points, edged out defending Skyline tournament champion Kean, which recorded two first-place votes and 20 points.

Just two points separated Maritime (17) and Farmingdale State (15), reflecting the competitive play of the conference last season. Richard Stockton (10) was picked fifth and Mount Saint Vincent (5) finished sixth. The Skyline Conference will be expanding to seven teams in 2010 with the addition of Bard College, and eight teams in 2011 with the addition of Mount Saint Mary College.

Last season, Montclair State finished 12-5 overall and 5-2 in Skyline Conference play before falling to third-seeded Kean in the championship game of the conference tournament. With eight All-Skyline players returning from last season, the Red Hawks have their sights set on a Skyline championship and an NCAA Tournament bid. Senior goalkeeper Thomas Bowers, the Skyline Co-Player of the Year last season, anchors a Montclair defense that includes all-conference defensemen Patrick Ferry and Anthony Dzienkiewicz. Taylor Bonner, John Schiavone, A.J. Bachman, Collin Marsh and Mario Passafiume are returning all-conference selections.

Kean finished 14-6 and 3-2 in Skyline regular-season play. The Cougars, seeded third in the conference tournament, earned victories on the road over second-seeded Maritime and top-seeded Montclair State en route to their first Skyline title and NCAA bid. In doing so, Kean became the first No. 3 seed to win the Skyline/Knickerbocker tournament. The Cougars return four All-Skyline players in Scott Leathem, Nick Miceli, C.J. Gannon and Tom Eller.

Maritime (11-5, 4-1 Skyline) is coming off one of its most successful seasons when it earned an ECAC Tournament bid last season. The Privateers must replace Skyline Co-Player of the Year, D.J. Toby who had been one of the conference's top midfielders and faceoff specialists over the past four seasons. With a deep roster consisting of 47 players, many of the younger Maritime players should step up and flourish this season.


1. Montclair State (3) 23
2. Kean (2) 20
3. Maritime 17
4. Farmingdale State (1) 15
5. Richard Stockton 10
6. Mount Saint Vincent 5

(first-place votes in parentheses)