2012 ECC Preseason Poll and Player Awards

Central Islip, NY (2/10/2012) The results of the 2012 East Coast Conference (ECC) Preseason Poll place defending National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II champion Mercyhurst College atop the league's predicted standings. The Lakers received eight first-place votes from the conference's 11 head coaches to total 118 points.

The ECC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year award was given to C.W. Post University's senior attack Eddie Plompen (West Islip, NY), while Mercy College's junior goalkeepe, T.J. DiCarlo (Farmingdale, NY) garnered the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year award. Chestnut Hill College placed seventh with 48 points.

Mercyhurst College conquered Adelphi University by a 9-8 final to win last season's national championship. They finished the regular season second in the ECC with an 8-2 league standing and a 16-2 overall mark. The Lakers return four All-ECC performers for 2012, including senior attack Kyle Kallay (Orangeville, Ontario), who finished tenth in the league for scoring (2.19 goals/game) and junior attack Brian Scheetz (Canandaigua, NY), who was the conference leader in assists (2.0 assists/game).

C.W. Post University was awarded two first-place votes and 110 points to rank second in the forecast. They finished 2011 as the ECC's top representative with a 16-2 overall record and a 9-1 league standing. They return three All-ECC performers including Plompen, senior midfielder Keith Rodriguez (Cortlandt Manor, NY), and senior attack Tom Giordano (Garden City, NY), who spent last year's first-place season between the pipes (16-2, 5.35 GAA).

Dowling College collected the last first-place vote and they ranked third in the poll with 97 points. The Golden Lions finished tied for third in 2011 with as 7-3 conference mark and an 11-3 overall record. They return three All-ECC selections including senior attack Vito DeMola (Holtsville, NY), who finished second the Chestnut Hill College's sophomore attack Mike Melnychenko (St. Catharines, Ontario) in goal-per-game (3.29).

Plompen garnered the ECC Preseason Player of the Year award after accumulating 72 total points in 2011. He ranked sixth nationally in both points-per-game (4.00) and goals-per-game (3.00) to earn United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) and ECC First Team selections. Mercy College's DiCarlo was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year award after posting an 11-3 record and a conference-leading .636 save percentage. He ranked second in the conference in saves-per-game (12.86) and he earned All-ECC First Team status in addition to being named the USILA's Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Chestnut Hill College (7-7, 3-7) began earning respect in 2011, winning three ECC contests and dominating their non-conference schedule for a 7-7 overall finish. The offense's production carried the Griffins, led by Melnychenko and fellow All-East Coast Conference (ECC) Honorable Mention, junior midfielder Mark Winkelspecht (Laurys Station, PA), they outscored their opponents 156-142 and did so with a superior efficiency, posting a .355 shooting percentage against their foes' .262 scoring rate.

Melnychenko totaled 50 goals in his freshman season, leading the team, conference, and nation in goal-per-game (3.57). He also ranked fifth nationally in points-per-game (4.07) and was named the league's top rookie after stacking up three ECC Rookie of the Week (2/28, 4/4, & 4/25) awards. Additionally, Melnychenko recovered 37 ground balls and caused four turnovers. Winkelspecht was equally important to the Griffins success, totaling 26 goals and 18 assists for 44 points, while also contributing 35 ground balls and six caused turnovers.

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