Jan. 28, 2009
Center Valley, Pa.--Four Patriot League men's lacrosse teams will open the season ranked in the Inside Lacrosse Top 25. A year after the Patriot League sent two teams to the NCAA Tournament, competition will remain stiff with over half of the League's teams in the preseason rankings.
Navy enters the 2009 season ranked 10th in the nation by Inside Lacrosse and will be looking for its fifth Patriot League Tournament title in six seasons. Head Coach Richie Meade boasts four preseason All-Americans on his roster, including First-Team selection Geoff Leone. Leone has earned All-Patriot League recognition twice in his career. The senior earned All-American honors a year ago after anchoring one of the stingiest defensive units in the country. Leone helped the Navy defense rank as the top defensive squad in the country for seven consecutive weeks, limiting 16 of its foes to seven or fewer goals.
Defending Patriot League champion Colgate heads into the season ranked 17th in the Inside Lacrosse Pre-Season poll. The Raiders made their second consecutive appearance in the Patriot League Championship a year ago, winning its first title. Corp was named Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year after racking up 41 goals as a junior. He has been named All-Patriot League three times in his career. He earned All-American status in both his sophomore and junior campaigns. He also received Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors the last two seasons.
Bucknell is riding into the season ranked in the Inside Lacrosse Preseason Poll for the second consecutive season. The Bison are ranked 18th after finishing last season with a trip to the Patriot League Championship. The Bison upset top-seeded Army before falling to Colgate in the title game. Named Preseason All-Americans were Austin Winter and Billy Haire, who both received honorable mention. A two-time All-Patriot League selection, Winter has led the Bison in points the last two seasons, including a League-best 49 points as a freshman two seasons ago. Haire, a senior, has emerged as one of the top defenders the nation. He has been named to the All-Patriot League Team in each of the last two seasons.
Army's national ranking of 22nd pushes the Patriot League's total of ranked teams to four. Head Coach Joe Alberici will return two of his five All-Patriot League selections from a year ago, including First-Team selection Kevin LoRusso. The senior midfielder has been a mainstay on an offense that ranked first in the Patriot League in scoring offense with a 9.62 goals per game average.
Navy will be the first Patriot League team to begin competition in 2009. The Mids open the season at home against VMI on Feb. 7.
For complete Patriot League previews by Inside Lacrosse, click the links below.
No. 10 Navy
No. 17 Colgate
No. 18 Bucknell
No. 22 Army