The Big East announced the preseason awards for men’s lacrosse on Wednesday, and as expected, senior attacker Ryan McNamara is Marquette’s lone representative on the all-league team. MU was picked to finish third in the six team Big East by a vote of the league’s coaches.
Let’s start with the team voting, shall we?
The coaches can’t vote for their own team, so the Pioneers are the rightful unanimous choice from the other five coaches in the league for first place. Denver head coach Bill Tierney apparently can’t get the bad taste of losing to Marquette at home in the Big East championship game out of his mouth, so his vote went to the Wildcats. In fairness to Tierney (and I guess to the rest of the coaches who also had VU ahead of MU), Marquette is reassembling their defense after losing three All-Americans to the end of their eligibility while Villanova returns the core of their offense that had them on the edge of the NCAA tournament last year. All I’m saying is that the national polls that are coming out have Denver and Marquette ranked, but not Villanova.
McNamara was an obvious unanimous selection to the all-league team. He finished the 2016 campaign third in the BE in goals per game and fifth in points per game, earning himself a unanimous selection to the all-Big East First Team along the way. He’s Marquette’s all time leader in goals and shots already, and he needs just 24 points to tie the career mark in that category as well.
Onwards to the individual awards, which were wholly unsurprising...
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Connor Cannizzaro, Denver
DUH. Cannizzaro led the Big East in goals and points last year as a junior. Not hard.
Preseason Defensive Player Of The Year: Christian Burgdorf, Denver
Again, DUH. Burgdorf has been Preseason DPOY each of the last two seasons and a All-BE First Teamer in each of his three seasons, so of course the coaches voted for him again.
Do you get the idea as to why Denver’s the pick to win the league again? Yeah, it’s a pretty good choice.
Preseason All-Big East Team
Tate Boyce, Providence, So., GK
Daniel Bucaro, Georgetown, So., A
Connor Cannizzaro, Denver, Sr., A ^
Ryan McNamara, Marquette, Sr., A ^
Jack Curran, Villanova, Grad., M
Jake Froccaro, Villanova, Sr., M ^
Joey Froccaro, Villanova, So., M ^
Tyler Pace, Denver, Sr., M ^
Christian Burgdorf, Denver, Sr., D ^
Michael Mayer, Georgetown, Sr., D
Jarrod Neumann, Providence, Sr., D ^
Charlie Ford, Georgetown, Sr., LSM
Sean Mayle, Denver, Jr., LSM
Trevor Baptiste, Denver, Jr., FOGO ^
The carrots mark the eight unanimous choices from the coaches, and seven of them are obvious choices. Well, maybe eight are obvious. I’m not entirely sure why the coaches like Joey Froccaro so much, but they gave him a Second Team All-Big East spot last year.... except the press release said he was a junior like older brother Jake. You wonder if maaaaaaaybe some votes are getting confused here? Seems like it’s possible, at least. The younger Froccaro is also catching a break from Denver’s Zach Miller withdrawing from school over the winter break. Miller has been an All-American performer for the Pios in the midfield, and someone had to fill his spot since he will not be playing lacrosse this season.
Even the non-unanimous choices aren’t surprising if you look at last year’s postseason awards and/or the national preseason All-American lists. Boyce is kind of a surprise here, since Denver’s Alex Ready was Goalkeeper of the Year last year, but both Ready and Boyce were on the First Team, so it’s not that big of a deal.
Marquette gets the season started on February 18th when they travel to Florida to tangle with Jacksonville.
You can check out the entire press release from the league right here.