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Lacrosse picked 1st in preseason coaches poll

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     Boston, Mass. – Two-time defending champion University at Albany has been selected to win the 2005 title in the America East Conference preseason men’s lacrosse coaches’ poll, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Feb. 15. UMBC stands second in the poll, while Binghamton, last year’s regular-season winner, is third.

     The Great Danes made their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament last season. Head coach Scott Marr has six all-conference performers returning, including first-team attacker Luke Daquino, from last year’s 10-6 squad.

     "Our expectation is always to win our conference and take another step in the NCAA Tournament," said Marr, whose teams have combined for 29 victories over the last three years. "This is a veteran team that burns to get back to the NCAAs."

     Daquino has been a model of consistency with 50-plus points in three consecutive seasons. He had 22 goals and 35 assists last year. Merrick Thomson, the 2004 America East Rookie of the Year, is among four players who netted 40 or more points for the nation’s seventh-best scoring offense. Thomson led all America East scorers with 47 goals and 12 assists.

    UAlbany’s defense is led by goalkeeper Kevin Rae, a two-time America East championship MVP. Rae, who is second on the school’s career saves list, posted a .578 save percentage with a 10.16 goals against average one year ago. All-America East defenders Ryan Olmstead (6-3, 215) and Patrick McSweeney (6-1, 240) will support Rae in the cage.

2005 America East Conference Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll

1. UAlbany (4), 44; 2. UMBC (1), 37; 3. Binghamton (2), 36; 4. Stony Brook 31; 5. Vermont 23; 6. Quinnipiac 16; 7. Hartford 9. ( ) – first-place votes



     Boston, Mass. – University at Albany was picked fourth in the America East Conference preseason women’s lacrosse coaches’ poll, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Boston University was chosen as the preseason favorite, edging out defending conference champion New Hampshire by two points and one first-place vote.

     "I expected to be right around fourth place, based on how we played last season," said UAlbany head coach Dennis Short, whose team opens its schedule at Colgate on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 1:00 p.m. "We are going to continue to work hard and show everyone that we are a stronger team this year."

     The Great Danes are coming off a 6-11 campaign in 2004. UAlbany turned in a 3-3 America East record and qualified for the conference tournament for the second time in three years. Kate Fontana and Kristen Mathias, a pair of all-conference second-team selections, are among the top returnees. Fontana, a midfielder, set a freshman scoring record with 53 points on 39 goals and 14 assists. Mathias, a junior, started every game on defense and tallied 27 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers.

     Other key returnees include sophomore goalkeeper Jen Daly and sophomore attacker Sarah Spillett, who were each named to the America East All-Rookie Team. Daly set the school’s single-season saves record with 190, while Spillett scored 28 goals and picked up 34 ground balls.

2005 America East Conference Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Boston U. (4), 46; 2. New Hampshire (3), 44; 3. UMBC, 35; 4. UAlbany, 26; 5. Vermont, 19; 6. Stony Brook, 18; 7. Binghamton 8. ( ) – first-place votes

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I am really excited about the upcoming Men's Lacrosse season. I had a chance to meet Coach Marr in NYC. He is a great guy and coach and he has this program headed towards some incredibly exciting and successful times. I think the team has an excellent chance of qualifying for their third straight NCAAs, a shot of upsetting SU in the regaular season and moving past the first round in the tournament. Should be a great year!!!!!!

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