Men’s lacrosse ranked 15th in preseason poll

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Nittany Lion men’s lacrosse was ranked 15th by Inside Lacrosse’s Face-Off Yearbook this week. In the Inside Lacrosse coaches poll, Penn State was tabbed 16th ahead of the 2013 season.

The Nittany Lions, who finished 15th in the final 2012 rankings by Inside Lacrosse, are one of four CAA teams in the preseason poll. Fellow CAA members Massachusetts (12th), Hofstra (17th) and Drexel (19th) all appear in the poll.

Seven Penn State opponents are in the poll with national semifinalist Notre Dame (3rd) topping the list. Non-conference opponents Lehigh (8th), Denver (10th) and Bucknell (18th) were also ranked, while Villanova and Ohio State were ranked by the coaches, but not in the magazine’s poll.

Penn State went 9-6 last season and returns the core of its team with just three starters graduating and 31 letterwinners returning for the 2013 season. The 2013 team will see 77 percent of its scoring from a year ago back on the field led by fifth-year senior Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.). Forster, who tallied 40 points last year, sits nine points shy of 100 for his career entering the 2013 campaign.

Aiding Forster’s offensive capabilities are Shane Sturgis (Downingtown, Pa.), Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and Gavin Ahern (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) who all scored double digit goals in 2012. Sturgis found the back of the net 19 times, Dolik had 18 markers and Ahern scored 13 goals.

On defense, the Nittany Lions welcome back all but one starter including junior goalkeeper Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) who earned USILA All-America honors in 2012. Another key piece for the Nittany Lions is Danny Henneghan (Beverly Hills, Mich.) as PSU’s face-off specialist. Henneghan, a senior, has a career .515 win percentage.

The Nittany Lions kick-off the 2013 campaign at Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. Prior to the Michigan game, Penn State takes on Army in West Point (Jan. 26) and Johns Hopkins in University Park (Feb. 2) in exhibition bouts. PSU’s home opener is set for Sunday, Feb. 24 vs. Notre Dame at Noon.

2013 IL PRESEASON POLL
1 – Loyola
2 – Maryland
3 – Notre Dame
4 – Duke
5 – North Carolina
6 – Johns Hopkins
7 – Cornell
8 – Lehigh
9 – Virginia
10 – Denver
11 – Colgate
12 – Massachusetts
13 – Princeton
14 – Syracuse
15 – Penn State
16 – Fairfield
17 – Hofstra
18 – Bucknell
19 – Drexel
20 – Yale

2013 IL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1 – Loyola
2 – Maryland
3 – Duke
4 – Notre Dame
5 – North Carolina
6 – Virginia
7 – Johns Hopkins
8 – Denver
9 – Massachusetts
10 – Princeton
11 – Syracuse
12 – Colgate
13 – Lehigh
14 – Yale
15 – Cornell
16 – Penn State
17 – Villanova
18 – Fairfield
19 – Ohio State
20 – Bucknell

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