PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Two-time defending conference champion Syracuse has been picked to win the 2012 BIG EAST men’s lacrosse league, according to a vote of the league’s seven head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own teams. The Orange totaled 34 points and received four of the seven first-place votes to claim the top spot in the preseason coaches’ poll released Thursday, Jan. 19.
It’s the first time since BIG EAST men’s lacrosse began in 2010 that Syracuse has not been the unanimous preseason favorite, as Notre Dame and Villanova also received first-place votes in the poll. The Irish garnered one first-place nod and were picked second with 29 total points. Villanova was a close third, earning 28 points and capturing the remaining two first-place votes. The Wildcats were followed by Georgetown (21 points), St. John’s (16 points), Rutgers (12 points) and Providence (seven points) in the voting.
In addition, the coaches named Syracuse junior Brian Megill (Clark, N.J.) the BIG EAST co-Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. He shared the honor with Notre Dame junior goalie John Kemp.
Megill also joined three teammates – redshirt senior attackman Tim Desko (Syracuse, N.Y.), sophomore defender Matt Harris (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) and junior midfielder/attackman JoJo Marasco (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) on the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. Megill and Marasco were unanimous choices, and the Orange’s four selections tied Notre Dame for the most of any school.
A two-year starter, Megill was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection last season. He recorded 34 ground balls and led all SU close defensemen with 27 caused turnovers.
Desko also earned 2011 all-conference honors despite missing seven games due to injury. He tallied 19 points, including 16 goals, in 10 games last year. For his career, Desko has 41 goals and 52 points in 39 games.
A USILA Honorable Mention All-American and All-BIG EAST performer, Marasco tied for the team lead in points (41) and assists (18) in 2011. He has 32 goals and 26 assists in his first two seasons for the Orange and has scooped up 34 career ground balls.
Harris played in 16 games last season as a freshman. He recorded three points (2g, 1a) and collected 11 ground balls as a reserve long-stick midfielder.
The Orange begins the 2012 campaign on Feb. 5 with a three-way scrimmage against Le Moyne and Hofstra at the Carrier Dome. It opens the regular season at home against Albany on Feb. 19. Single-game and season tickets are available online, at the Carrier Dome Box Office (Gate B) or by calling 1-888-DOMETIX.
2012 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Syracuse (4) – 34 points
Notre Dame (1) – 29 points
Villanova (2) – 28 points
Georgetown – 21 points
St. John’s – 16 points
Rutgers – 12 points
Providence – 7 points
(-) First-place votes
BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Kevin Cunningham, Villanova, Sr., A
BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Players of the Year
Brian Megill, Syracuse, Jr., D
John Kemp, Notre Dame, Jr., GK
All-BIG EAST Preseason Team
Zack Angel, Georgetown, Sr., M
Travis Comeau, Georgetown, Jr., A
* John Kemp, Notre Dame, Jr. GK
Liam O’Connor, Notre Dame, So., F/O
* Kevin Randall, Notre Dame, Sr., D
Sean Rogers, Notre Dame, Sr., A
Dillon Ayers, St. John’s, Jr., LSM
Tim Desko, Syracuse, R-Sr., A
Matt Harris, Syracuse, So., D/LSM
* JoJo Marasco, Syracuse, Jr., M/A
* Brian Megill, Syracuse, Jr., D
Matt Bell, Villanova, Sr., M
* Chris Creighton, Villanova, Sr., D
* Kevin Cunningham, Villanova, Sr. A
* – unanimous selection
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