January 22, 2014

Atlantic Sun Preseason Honors Announced

from Press Release

MACON, Ga. - Jacksonville claimed top billing in the 2014 Atlantic Sun Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll with five first-place votes, while High Point's Dan Lomas and Mercer's Chris Baxa shared the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Honors. The Dolphins' goalkeeper Pete DeLuca captured the A-Sun Preseason Defensive Player of the Year accolades.

The Dolphins placed a league-best six student-athletes on the 13-man preseason team. Joining DeLuca on the squad from Jacksonville are Austin Curtis, David Goldman, Conor Igoe, Ari Waffle and Tyler Black. DeLuca, Goldman and Black were all unanimous choices to the team.

High Point sits in second in the preseason rankings with three selections to the squad including Lomas. Defender Garrett Swaim and midfielder Mitchell Dupere join Lomas on the team as Dupere was an unanimous selection by the coaches.

Mercer landed the remaining first-place vote and sits in third in the coaches poll. An unanimous selection, Baxa is accompanied by Cole Branch and Justin Evans. VMI was voted fourth by the coaches with 16 points ahead of lacrosse newcomers Furman and Richmond, who tied with 11 points. Furman's Ralph D'Agostino, a transfer from Syracuse, completed the preseason all-conference team.

The A-Sun had the fans participate in the Preseason All-Conference awards as they voted on Facebook for the Preseason Offensive Player and Defensive Players of the Year. High Point's Dan Lomas collected 176 ballots to be named the A-Sun Preseason Fan-Voted Offensive Player of the Year, while VMI's Tyler Prasnicki corralled the most votes (211) to land the A-Sun Preseason Fan-Voted Defensive Player of the Year accolade.

Preseason All-Conference Player Notes:

• Pete DeLuca: 2013 MAAC Defensive Player of the Year with 138 saves, .552 save percentage
• Ralph D'Agostino: Played for Team USA U-19 team in summer of 2012
• Garrett Swaim: Led team with 18 caused turnovers and grabbed 37 ground balls
• Austin Curtis: First Team All-MAAC selection last season with 33 ground balls, 14 caused turnovers
• Mitchell Dupere: HPU's third-leading scorer in 2013 with 15 goals and seven assists
• David Goldman: Finished fourth on team with 14 goals; Chipped in 14 ground balls
• Conor Igoe: Scored 13 goals as a junior, while adding 18 ground balls and five assists
• Cole Branch: Registered 15 goals with 11 assists as a junior last season
• Dan Lomas: Totaled 36 goals as a freshman with five assists; Picked up 31 ground balls
• Ari Waffle: Tallied 18 goals with 12 assists, which included two hat tricks last season
• Chris Baxa: Amassed 33 goals with 10 assists as a freshman; added 26 ground balls
• Tyler Black: Led the team in caused turnovers (29) and was second with 37 ground balls
• Justin Evans: Ranked fifth nationally with eight ground balls per game; finished with 88 total

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance betwee student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

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