EDISON, NJ — The Detroit men’s lacrosse team was chosen as the favorite to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) as the league’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll was unveiled on Friday afternoon.
“It is great to be recognized by the coaches, but we all know this is the preseason and our goal is to be champions at the end of the year,” said head coach Matt Holtz. “The MAAC is a tough league and extremely competitive and on any given day, anyone can win so we have to make sure we keep working hard to achieve our goal.”
Detroit totaled 43 points, edging out last year’s MAAC regular season and tournament champion Siena who had 42.
Marist was picked to finish third accumulating 34 points, while both Canisius and Jacksonville tied for fourth with 27. Rounding out the poll was Manhattan (13) and VMI (10).
Detroit also had two players on the Preseason All-MAAC tea in junior Jamie Hebden (Farmington Hills, MI/Brother Rice) and sophomore Shayne Adams (St. Catharines, ON/Denis Morris).
Hebden was a second team All-MAAC selection last year at defense, while Adams was the conference’s Rookie of the Year at attack.
Filling out the Preseason All-league team at attack is Simon Giormetakis from Canisius, Marist’s Connor Rice and Bryan Neufeld of Siena. At midfield is Camron Mann of Jacksonville, Jim Marks of Marist and Siena’s Chris Roth, while on defense Jacksonville’s Jake Ziegler and Marist’s Ethan Fox were chosen. Tom Morr of Siena was picked as the preseason goalie. Neufeld was also picked to be the Preseason Player of the Year.
The official start of the Division I men’s lacrosse season is tomorrow as the Titans travel to face No. 19 Delaware on Saturday. The game will not only be the season opener for the Titans and Blue Hens, but also the first game played by any school in 2012.
Fans can keep up with the action through a live stats feed as well as a live webcast. Both of those links are located at DetroitTitans.com.
It is the second-straight year that Detroit will open at Delaware as UDM dropped a 13-5 decision last season. All five of the Titan goals were with the man-up, led by Adams who tallied a hat trick. Junior Jordan Houtby (St. Catharines, ON/Holy Cross) recorded six caused turnovers and nine ground balls, while junior A.J. Levell (Columbus, OH/Dublin Scioto) made 17 saves in the contest.
Detroit returns over 90% of its offense and nine starters from a team that went 6-10, 4-2 in the MAAC and advancing to the conference championship game. Adams is the returning scorer tallying 35 goals and 41 points, earning MAAC first team and Rookie of the Year honors. Senior Scott Harris (Saline, MI/Saline) had 19 goals and 20 assists last year, while sophomore Alex Maini (Lynbrook, NY/Lynbrook) posted 27 points on 19 goals and eight assists.
Defensively, the reigning MAAC LSM of the Year Houtby is back after finishing second in the nation with 3.25 caused turnovers per game and 11th in ground balls picking up 6.06 per game. Hebden was fifth in the country in caused turnovers at 2.5 per game, while his 40 total caused TO’s were also the fifth-most in the nation. Levell was a second team pick in 2011 after recording 179 saves on the year, second in the league, while also finishing second in the MAAC with a .521 saves percentage.
The Blue Hens were ranked 17th last season at the time of the game against Detroit and outshot the Titans, 53-27. They have won consecutive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles and have made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. They were 11-7 a year ago, falling to Duke, 15-14, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Delaware returns five starters and its top three scorers from last year’s team in senior attackmen Eric Smith (25 goals, 20 assists) and second team All-CAA attackman Grant Kaleikau (15 goals, 30 assists) along with junior attackman Sean Finegan (21 goals, 7 assists). The Blue Hens also have one of the top face-off specialists in the country in Dan Cooney (53.7 percent), who won 14-of-19 against UDM last season.
The Titans will stay on the road to face Ohio State next Thursday before hosting Michigan on Sunday, Feb. 12, at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac. Tickets for that event are going fast so for more information and how to purchase tickets, call 313-993-1700 or visit DetroitTitans.com.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.