COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team took eighth place in the Northeast-10 Conference's preseason coaches' poll, which was released by the league office today and was chosen by the member institutions' head coaches.
The Purple Knights received 51 points toward the 12-team poll, within four of seventh-place Assumption College. Le Moyne College, which is second in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) preseason national poll, paced the NE-10 rankings with 118 points.
The Purple Knights, who are receiving votes toward that USILA national poll, went 7-7 overall and 5-6 in the league last spring. With a young group coming together down the stretch, Saint Michael's surged to a 3-1 finish, which included a 12-9 victory over No. 10 Mercy (N.Y.) College. Thirteen newcomers join the program this spring.
Saint Michael's returns five of its six leading scorers from last season. Senior Mark Yetter (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery/Delaware) led the team with 23 goals and 42 points, matching the most points by a Purple Knight rookie since Kevin Duffy '03 had the same number in 2000. Sophomore Brian Loughlin (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) finished the year with 28 assists, a program record for rookies. Seniors Daegan Goodman (Montpelier, Vt./Montpelier) and Jamie McGill (Needham, Mass./Needham) and junior Tom Fitzgerald (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) each scored at least 14 goals last season.
On defense, senior Brian Devilly (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) caused 19 turnovers while also scooping 30 ground balls. Classmate T.J. Bicknell (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) saw the majority of playing time as part of a three-person goalie corps. In 12 appearances, Bicknell averaged 13.8 stops per contest, which ranked second among all NE-10 netminders. Despite missing two games, sophomore Spencer Ralston (Hebron, Conn./Cushing Academy) won 101 faceoffs, a program rookie record and just seven shy of the overall standard.
In their fourth season under head coach Pat Ivory '08, the Purple Knights begin their season on March 8 at No. 4 Merrimack College, which was an NCAA Tournament semifinalist last year. Saint Michael's then returns home to face Franklin Pierce University, which is receiving national votes, on March 12.