FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team was picked to finish fifth in the Northeast Conference Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' poll, released on Thursday.
The Pioneers return a pair of All-NEC performers from a season ago in junior defensemen Andrew Newbold (Loveland, Ohio) and junior goalie Ryan Hughes (Bayport, N.Y.). Newbold started all 13 games in 2012, tallying four points on three goals and an assist. He was second on the team with 12 caused turnovers and third with 40 groundballs. Hughes was second in the NEC with a 10.65 goals against average and a .536 save percentage. Both players were All-NEC Second Team selections.
Sacred Heart also returns its top three point-producers from 2012. Junior attack Cody Marquis (Londonderry, N.H.) led the Pioneers in points last season with 35, scoring 17 goals while assisting on 18 others. He was eighth in the NEC in points per game last year with 2.69 per game. Fellow junior Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ontario) was third in the NEC in goals per game last season, averaging 2.31 a game. His 30 goals in 2012 led the Pioneers. Matt Gannon (Huntington, N.Y.) led Sacred Heart with 22 assists last season, finishing the season second in the conference with 1.83 assists per game.
Bryant was picked to win the NEC title, followed by Mount St. Mary's, Robert Morris and Quinnipiac. Wagner was picked sixth behind Sacred Heart. Beginning this season, the winner of the NEC Tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Sacred Heart opens the 2013 season at #17/20 Hofstra on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m.