Bryant Leads the NEC Lacrosse 2013 Preseason Coaches' Poll

In his second season as head coach of Robert Morris (11-4, 5-0 NEC), Drew McMinn looks to keep the offense going after watching his team lead the country in scoring offense for a second straight season (14.38 gpg). Despite graduating the NEC's Player and Offensive Player of the Year in Kiel Matisz, the 2012 NEC Coach of the Year brings back seniors Jake Hayes (Calgary, Alberta/Central Memorial) and Dave Morton (Orangeville, Ontario/The Hill School). Hayes led the NEC and placed sixth in the country in goals per game (2.80), totaling 42 strikes along with 61 points. He also ranked second on the circuit in points per game, averaging 4.27 ppg. Morton, another all-league pick, placed fourth in points per game (3.27 ppg) on the strength of a 30-goal, 19-assist campaign.

Picked fourth, Quinnipiac (3-11, 2-3 NEC) saw four of its freshman step up and play major roles in 2012, earning All-NEC Rookie honors. Sophomores Mike Sagl (West Islip, NY/West Islip) and Matt Diehl (Towson, MD/Calvert Hall) ranked 1-2 in team scoring, with Sagl posting 16 goals and 33 points and Diehl netting 11 goals and 28 points. Pat Corcoran (Stratford, CT/St. Jospeh's) registered 10 goals and six assists from the midfield position, while Greg Pendergast (South Windsor, CT/South Windsor) played and started in all 14 games at defense, scooping up 24 ground balls and causing eight turnovers.

Sacred Heart (4-9, 1-4 NEC) also saw its underclassmen step up and contribute last season. Junior Cody Marquis (Londonderry, NH/Londonderry) led the team in scoring and placed eighth in the league in points per game (2.69 ppg) after tallying 35 through 13 games. Overall, he scored 17 goals and handed out 18 assists. Junior Ryan Hughes (Bayport, NY/Bayport-Blue Point) was exceptional in goal, recording 11 straight games of double-digit saves, including 12 in a 13-12 win over then-No. 15 Yale. Junior defenseman Andrew Newbold (Loveland, OH/Loveland), an All-NEC Second Team member, helped Hughes' cause, starting in all 13 games while recording 40 ground balls and causing 12 turnovers.

Wagner (1-13, 1-4 NEC) saw a vast improvement in play from its previous season under the tutelage of head coach Matt Poskay. The Seahawks played in several close games and were in the hunt for a playoff spot heading into the last game of the season. Senior Nick DePhillips (Glen Ridge, NJ/Glen Ridge (Ohio State)) returns after a season in which he tallied 27 points (24g, 3a) and earned a spot on the All-NEC Second Team.

The NEC Men's Lacrosse Championship takes place May 3 and 5 at the home of the high seed. The top four teams in the regular season standings will advance to the postseason event. Beginning this year, the winner of the NEC Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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