HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team was recently selected to finish fourth in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, announced on Thursday, February 7, 2013. The Bobcats finished third in last year's standings and made a trip to their fourth straight postseason tournament.
The NEC coaches collectively picked Bryant as the favorite to win the conference championship, as the Bulldogs garnered five first-place votes. Mount St. Mary's received the final first-place vote and was tabbed second, followed by Robert Morris, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Wagner. Robert Morris won the regular season title in 2012, with the Bulldogs winning the NEC Tournament as the second seed.
2013 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Bryant (5)
2. Mount St. Mary's (1)
3. Robert Morris
5. Sacred Heart
The 2013 Quinnipiac men's lacrosse team is geared up and ready for the upcoming season. The Bobcats feature an experienced group which will be led by their seven senior-class members. Seniors Basil Kostaras (Southlake, Texas), Jay Binkowski (Bethany, Conn.), Chris Messina (West Islip, N.Y.) and Brendan Wilbur (Hingham, Mass.) are set to lead the Bobcats as team-captains, in search for a fifth straight postseason appearance.
Offensively, Quinnipiac returns its entire arsenal from a year ago - equipped with five players who registered at least 20 points. Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario), a member of the All-Rookie Team in 2011, led the team with 23 goals and two assists for 25 points, while grabbing a team-best 84 ground balls. Webster has 118 ground balls in just two years with the program – good enough for 11th in Division I history.
Also joining the attack will be Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.) and Wilbur, who return to the roster after tremendous 2012 campaigns. Sagl, an All-Rookie Team selection, emerged as one of Quinnipiac's most prolific attackers, compiling 16 goals and 17 assists for a team-best total of 33 points. He was tied for first on the team in assists and second in goals scored, adding 16 ground balls to his end-of-the-season statistics. Wilbur finished with 20 points at the strength of 13 goals and seven assists – good enough for fifth on the team. With his breakout year, he has 21 goals and 11 assists for 32 points in his career – which are good enough for third among active players.
The middle of the field features the bulk of Quinnipiac's firepower, led by Kostaras, Binkowski, Matt Diehl (Towson, Md.) and Pat Corcoran (Stratford, Conn.). Despite missing a few games with an injury, Kostaras finished second on the team in assists (8), third in goals scored (15) and fourth in total points (23). The Southlake, Texas native has 40 career goals which have him in a two-way tie for 19th on the Division I list. He is also just five assists away from cracking top 20 for the category.
Binkowski finished with eight goals and one assist for nine points – good enough for sixth-best on the team. The highlights of his season came against Binghamton and Wagner, where he recorded hat tricks in both victories. Diehl came along strong, particularly through the final games of the season, en route to 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 total points. Diehl, along with Sagl, each averaged 1.21 assists per game which tied them for 10th in the Northeast Conference.
On the defensive side of the turf, the Bobcats will need to replace one of Quinnipiac's best defenders all-time in Chris Coppolecchia. Coppolecchia's average of 3.07 ground balls per game ranked first nationally in all of Division I in 2012, while his 144 career ground balls has him ranked eighth at Quinnipiac since joining the NCAA's highest division.
Last year, Quinnipiac's defense ranked second in caused turnovers, second in penalty-kill percentage and fourth in goals against average. Greg Pendergast (South Windsor, Conn.) was named to the All-Rookie Team after completing a formidable freshman campaign with 24 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. The Bobcats will also try a new look between the pipes with junior transfer Gill Conners (Balston Spa, N.Y.). Conners came to Quinnipiac this past fall after leading Onondaga Community College to a fourth straight NJCAA Championship last spring.
The Bobcats begin the 2013 season with two exhibition games in February. QU opens at home against Dartmouth on the 9th and then travels to Yale for a scrimmage against Tufts on the 17th. Quinnipiac opens the regular season on February 23rd at Brown and will kick off its home slate on March 12th against BIG EAST foe Providence.
Quinnipiac's quest for a second NEC Regular Season Title begins on March 30th at Bryant University. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 20 in the Lacrosse Magazine poll and received votes in the NCAA rankings.
Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2013 Quinnipiac Men's Lacrosse Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.
Contact: Tony Distasio; firstname.lastname@example.org