Defending Champion Morrisville State Mustangs Top 2016 NEAC Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll

The defending champion Morrisville State College Mustangs topped the 2016 NEAC Men's Lacrosse Coaches' Preseason Poll.
The defending champion Morrisville State College Mustangs topped the 2016 NEAC Men's Lacrosse Coaches' Preseason Poll.

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The defending champion Morrisville State College Mustangs remain the team to beat entering the 2016 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men’s lacrosse season, according to the coaches’ preseason poll rankings.  

The Mustangs garnered all eight allowable first-place votes en route to topping the poll with 64 points.  Morrisville will return nine starters and 24 players overall from last year’s title team, including the reigning NEAC Defensive Player of the Year and All-Conference First Team goalkeeper in senior Chris Fiore (Staten Island, N.Y.).  Fiore led the conference in wins (11), saves (169), save percentage (62.6) and goals-against average (6.69) for the Mustangs, who will also see senior and 17-game starter Chad Izyk (North Syracuse, N.Y.) return on defense.  

The offense will feature the senior trio of Louie Geswaldo (Lafayette, N.Y.), John Sherlock (Tully, N.Y.) and Eliud Evans (Culver City, Calif.).  Geswaldo, a 2015 NEAC All-Conference First Team midfield selection, led the team with 28 goals while also dishing out 20 assists.  Sherlock, an All-Conference Third Team honoree at the attack position, was last season’s team leader in assists (26), points (51) and groundballs (48) while adding 25 goals. Evans, a versatile midfielder, returns after contributing 23 points, 32 groundballs and 13 caused turnover last season.      

Reigning NEAC Coach of the Year Jason Longo will test his Mustang team early with a strong out-of-conference schedule that includes a bout against nationally ranked SUNY Cortland. 

Keuka College received the remaining first-place vote en route to placing second with 56 total points. The Wolfpack returns 19 players and five starters from last season’s NEAC Tournament Runner-Up squad.  A trio of seniors will lead the offense, including All-Conference Third Team attacker Matt Beebe (Syracuse, N.Y.) and his team-leading 28 assists, All-Conference Short-Stick Midfield Third Team selection Brendan King (Auburn, N.Y.) and his team-best 44 groundballs, and midfielder Tyler Skowronski (Clarence, N.Y.) and his 27 points.  The defense will be led by senior and 2015 NEAC All-Conference First Teamer Tom Lupo (Auburn, N.Y.), along with junior Dustin Springer (Liverpool, N.Y.), who caused a team-best 16 turnovers a year ago.   

Cazenovia College tallied 46 points to place third.  The Wildcats return 21 players from last year’s playoff team, including nine starters and seven 2015 all-conference selections that include a pair of First Team honorees in juniors Eric Hanover (Gilford, N.H.) and Kyle Kingsley (Potsdam, N.Y.)

Placing fourth with 43 points was the Bryn Athyn College Lions, who will once again feature standout sophomore Nolan Frame (Coldstream, B.C.) after he garnered both the NEAC Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards in 2015.  Rounding out the top five of the nine-team field with 40 points was the Hilbert College Hawks, who return six starters from last season’s playoff squad that includes All-Conference First Team midfield Nathaniel Hyman (Lancaster, N.Y.)

The full men’s lacrosse preseason rankings can be found below:

Rank Institution (First-Place Votes) Total Points
1 Morrisville State College (8) 64
2 Keuka College (1) 56
3 Cazenovia College  46
4 Bryn Athyn College 
43
5 Hilbert College 40
6 SUNY Polytechnic Institute  26
7 Wells College* 20
8 SUNY Cobleskill*  20
9 Medaille College
9

*Tie broken by higher ordinal number points

 

The 2015-16 NEAC men’s lacrosse season will officially begin this Saturday, with a full season schedule being available on the NEAC website here.  Be sure to follow all the action throughout the season using the free NEAC mobile app, Front Row, which can be downloaded here

The preseason poll rankings were conducted by the NEAC men’s lacrosse coaches, with each coach ranking out all teams but their own using a staggered points system (eight points for a first-place vote, seven points for second, etc.).  No self-voting was allowed.  This is the first year the NEAC has held preseason polls and they will now become a staple of all 18 conference-sponsored sports moving forward.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University - Abington, Pennsylvania State University - Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M Lacrosse & M Volleyball), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse & M Volleyball), Penn State Altoona (M Volleyball) and Rutgers University - Camden (M Golf).  The North Eastern Athletic Conference has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s and women’s tennis.