Jan 24, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT
Just over a week away from the start of the 2014 men’s lacrosse season to begin. The Blue Hens of Delaware are the first team to kick off the new season as they meet on the turf Feb. 1 welcoming High Point to Newark for a 1:00 p.m. contest. Penn State and Towson will open their seasons on Feb. 8, while the Minutemen of UMass will follow on Feb. 9. Drexel and Hofstra will finally kick-off their 2014 schedule on Feb. 15.
Days after it was announced that Penn State was selected to win the Colonial Athletic Association regular season, the Nittany Lions’ All-American Austin Kaut was selected as the 2014 CAA Preseason Player of the Year as PSU boasts a league-best five preseason All-CAA honorees.
Kaut led the Nittany Lions to a historic season and was named CAA Player and Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. The goalkeeper recorded a career year in the net with a 7.37 goal against average, ranking third in the nation, while making a career-high 194 saves as a junior. The PSU goalkeeper also stopped 61 percent of shots faced on goal, which ranked second in the nation, and registered a 12-5 record in goal for the Nittany Lions. The Morton, Pa., native saved 10 or more shots in 12 of his 17 appearances, including three 16-save performances. Kaut was named CAA Rookie of the Year in 2011 and has earned All-CAA honors three-consecutive seasons.
Joining Kaut on the preseason All-CAA team were teammates, sophomore attack TJ Sanders, senior midfielder Tom LaCrosse, senior long stick midfielder Steven Bogert, and junior defender Tyler Travis. Sanders was named the 2013 CAA Rookie of the Year, while ranking 15th nationally and leading the conference in goals per game (2.59). Along with Kaut, LaCrosse, Bogert and Travis were honored on the 2013 All-CAA first team.
Also earning a spot at the attack position is Towson senior Thomas DeNapoli and Hofstra sophomore Sam Llinares. Towson senior Andrew Hodgson and Drexel senior Ben McIntosh joined LaCrosse at the midfield position on the preseason squad. Massachusetts senior Joe Calvello and Drexel junior Nick Saputo tied in votes for the faceoff specialist position. Joining PSU’s Travis at the defense position is Delaware senior James Connelly and Towson’s John Fennessy and JoJo Ostrander.
The full release with stats about each preseason All-CAA member can be found on CAASports.com.
Even though PSU is not eligible to advance to the CAA Championship, due to its announcement of departing for the Big Ten Conference after the 2014 season (per CAA Bylaws set in June 2000), the Nittany Lions will participate as a conference member during the regular season and has an opportunity to win the regular-season title. The Nittany Lions can also earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament this spring.
Penn State was chosen to finish atop the regular-season standings by a vote of the league head coaches. Towson, which captured the CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship for the first time since 2005, was picked to finished second, followed by Drexel. Massachusetts earned fourth as Hofstra and Delaware rounded out the fifth and sixth spots, respectively. Full release of the 2014 CAA Predicted Order of Finish on CAASports.com.
The CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship is slated to get underway Wednesday, April 30th with semifinal action and the title contest is slated for Saturday, May 3rd. This year the Wednesday semifinals will be played at the two highest seeds and the Saturday championship game will be played at the highest remaining seed.
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