Wheeling Jesuit Men's Lacrosse Season Preview

CENTERVILLE, Mass. The Wheeling Jesuit Cardinal lacrosse team has been picked to finish in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference's top-five teams in head coach Kevin Dugan's first year at the helm.

The Cardinals also received top-15 votes in the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's (USILA) Preseason Coaches Poll of the best D-II teams in the country.

WJU is looking to build off an 11-6 record in 2013. Coach Dugan will look to All-ECAC Second Team attackmen Brian Frank (Huntingtown, Md.), last season's points leader (58) and All-ECAC Second Team junior attackmen/midfielder Tyler Buchan (Burnaby, British Columbia) who recorded 25 points in 2013 to facilitate the Cardinals' offense.

The Cardinals will have their hands full in their ECAC regular season schedule, having to contend against three of the USILA's top 15 teams in the country in Lake Erie College (9th), Seton Hill (7th), and perennial powerhouse Mercyhurst (2nd).

WJU will be able to rely on players with plenty of experience however, as they return three, 4-year starters on attack from last years team that finished with 221 total goals and averaged 39.6 shots per game.

"We've got such a senior laden team, I feel like we're looking pretty well right off the bat," said Coach Dugan. "We've got so many guys that have contributed so much to the program over the last four years that are going to play a big role in our success this season. When you have a big group of seniors, things can start to come together a little bit quicker."

Coach Dugan and the Cardinals won't rely solely on their seniors for team leadership however. Dugan expects freshman Jack Brandenburg (Lothian, Md.) to battle for starting time as well.

"Brandeburg is coming in from a well coached high school program. He's very fundamentally sound. He's someone people can expect to potentially step in and contribute right away," Dugan added.

The Cardinals start their 2014 campaign with a three-game road trip to Florida where they will face Lynn (3/3), St. Leo (3/5), and Florida Tech (3/8) before traveling to St. Louis, Mo. to take on #4 Lindenwood on March 14th.

2014 ECAC Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Mercyhurst
2. Seton Hill
3. Lake Erie College
4. Lindenwood
5. Wheeling Jesuit
6. Walsh
7. Ohio Valley
8. Alderson Broaddus

2014-02-20



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