Queens, Mars Hill Top SAC Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll

ROCK HILL, S.C. Queens University of Charlotte and Mars Hill University have tied for the top position in the inaugural SAC men's lacrosse preseason coaches' poll, the conference announced on Wednesday. The Lions earned four first-place votes in the preseason poll, while the Royals received three.

2014 marks the first year of men's lacrosse being sponsored as a championship sport in the SAC. Eight of the conferences' 12 member schools will compete in the sport this season.

Queens completed their 2013 campaign at 7-7 after facing four opponents who completed the year ranked on the nation's top 10 list. They finished Conference Carolinas play at 5-2 to snag the third seed heading into the conference tournament.

In addition to being ranked first in the poll, the Royals lead the way with six players recognized on the preseason all-conference teams.

Earning a spot on the first team is senior Patrick Murphy. Last season, the defenseman ranked second in the league and first on the team in caused turnovers with 34. He was third in the nation in caused turnovers per game with 2.62 on each outing. Murphy also led Queens in ground balls with 43.

Attackers Garret Chan and Casey Hock were recognized on the second team. The pair combined for 57 goals and 26 assists last season to total83 of Queens' 76 points.

Defenseman Patrick Thomas and long stick midfielder Tim Cloud also made appearances on the second team along with face-off specialist Kenneth Stryker. Thomas recorded 21 groundballs and 14 caused turnovers last season, while Cloud had 23 ground balls, 13 caused turnovers and four assists. Stryker won 105-199 face-offs, while totaling 47 ground balls, 2 goals and 3 assists.

The inaugural Food Lion SAC Lacrosse Championship will take place April 17-19 at the Queens Sports Complex in Charlotte, N.C.

2014 SAC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll

1. Mars Hill 45 (4)
1. Queens 45 (3)
3. Catawba 36
4. Lenoir-Rhyne 34 (1)
5. Coker 24
6. Wingate 20
7. Tusculum 13
8. Brevard 7

2014 SAC Preseason All-Conference Team

First Team Attacker
John Scheich, CAT
Jimmy McBride, MHU
Ryan Maurer, COK

First Team Midfielder
Anthony Malcolm, MHU
Tyler Kotch, L-R
Sam Ashton, L-R

First Team Defender
Patrick Murphy, QU
Gage Mason, CAT
Stephen O'Hara, L-R

First Team Long Pole Midfielder
Tanner Leach, MHU

First Team Specialist
Daniel Rew, CAT

First Team Goalkeeper
Patrick McMahon, MHU

Second Team Attacker
Ryan Vogrig, WU
Garrett Chan, QU
Casey Hock, QU

Second Team Midfielder
Imari Davis, L-R
Bryce Sneed, WU
Timothy Smith, COK

Second Team Defender
Patrick Thomas, QU
Max Baltzer, COK
Jim Elliott, COK

Second Team Long Pole Midfielder
Tim Cloud, QU

Second Team Specialist
Kenneth Stryker, QU

Second Team Goalkeeper
Tim Ryan, COK

* * * *

ROCK HILL, SC -- Catawba was voted third in the inaugural South Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse preseason coaches' poll. It was announced by the conference office on Wednesday. This marks the first year the SAC will sponsor lacrosse as a championship sport. Eight of the 12 SAC member schools will field a team this season.

Mars Hill and Queens tied for the top position in the poll. Mars Hill earned four first-place votes, while Queens received three. Mars Hill went 11-3 last season as an independent, and Queens finished 7-7 overall and third in the Conference Carolinas standings at 4-2.

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