East Coast Conference 2011 Preseason Poll

Central Islip, N.Y. - The two-time defending National Champion C.W. Post Pioneers have been tabbed the men's lacrosse preseason favorite for the 2011 season. Mercyhurst follows up in the second spot, and rounding out the top three are the Bears of NYIT.

The Pioneers accumulated 118 total points with nine first place votes to take the top spot on the Preseason Poll. They compiled an overall record of 16-1 in 2009 suffering their only loss to conference rival Dowling College. The Pioneers got revenge against the Golden Lions in their trip to the NCAA Tournament with a win in the national semifinals. They followed that up by defeating Le Moyne in the National Championship game for the second straight season, downing the Dolphins 14-9.

Mercyhurst compiled 110 points with one first place vote in the poll. They concluded the 2010 season with a record of 13-1 while going 9-1 in ECC play. NYIT claimed the final first place vote and with a 97 points to finish third in the poll. The ECC's second NCAA Tournament representative from 2010, Dowling College, was picked fourth.

The 2011 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year has been awarded to senior Mike Messina from C.W. Post. In 2010, Messina was tabbed as a USILA Second Team All-American and named to the ECC All-Conference Second Team. He was a force in the Pioneers run to a National Championship, scoring 19 goals and tallying 9 assists. Messina has also been dubbed a Pre-Season All-American in 2011 by the USILA.

Andrew Casimir has been named as the 2011 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. The graduate student was a 2009 ECC All-Conference Second Team member and has been named a 2011 USILA Preseason First Team All-American. Casimir scooped up 30 groundballs and caused 11 turnovers in the Golden Lions' run to the national semifinals in 2010.

2011 East Coast Conference Preseason Poll

1. C.W. Post (9) 118
2. Mercyhurst (1) 110
3. NYIT (1) 97
4. Dowling 90
5. Seton Hill 77
6. Molloy 56
7. Wheeling Jesuit 48
8. Mercy 47
9. Dominican 45
10. Chestnut Hill 22
11. Lake Erie 16

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Mike Messina, Sr., MF, C.W. Post
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Andrew Casimir, Gr., DEF., Dowling


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