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Unscientific Predictions: 2024 Big East Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Awards

The start of the season is inching closer, so let’s take a swing at how the coaches might vote for all the preseason honors.

Marquette’s Mason Woodward
Marquette’s Mason Woodward has a good chance to be named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East this spring.
Marquette University

We’re zooming along towards the start of the 2024 college men’s lacrosse season, so we should probably do something about previewing that, huh? Let’s make sure we get some preseason award prediction/projections in for the Big East, since that’s the conference that YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles play in, shall we?

We’ll give you a preseason offensive and defensive player of the year along with a preseason goalkeeper of the year here. After that, an all-Big East team, including three specialist positions because the league has liked to do that in the past as well. We’ll wrap up with a shot at a predicted order of finish in the conference this season.

Here we go!

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Ryan Bell, Providence

As always, these things don’t have to be complicated. Bell is the top returning points per game player in the Big East after finishing the regular season averaging 4.07 per game last season. No one else was north of 3.50 in the league much less anyone returning, and so I’m giving Bell the award here. Now, are the coaches going to go in a different direction because Bell averaged 2.67 assists per game and there’s been a tendency to ignore the value of assists when it comes to scoring? Yes, absolutely. If they go completely by goals per game and that’s it, well, that’s great news for Marquette’s Bobby O’Grady, who tops the charts amongst returning guys there and is the only returning player who averaged a hat trick last season.

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Mason Woodward, Marquette

There are two unanimous choice defensemen from last year’s All-Big East First Team returning to college this spring. One is Woodward, who is Marquette’s first ever three-time All-American. The other is Villanova’s Reid Colwell, and, well, he’s not a three-time All-American. Sorry. Are the coaches going to figure out a way to vote for a Georgetown defender anyway? Maybe! They’re weird like that.

Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year: James Corasaniti, Providence

I keep telling you: Don’t overcomplicate these things. Corasaniti was the Goalkeeper of the Year at the end of last regular season. He’s back in black and white for the Friars this spring. Therefore, he’s the best goalkeeper in the league heading into 2024.

All-Big East Team

Ryan Bell, Providence, A
Devon Cowan, Marquette, A
Bobby O’Grady, Marquette, A
Graham Bundy Jr., Georgetown, M
Michael Chabra, Providence, M
Michael Lampert, Denver, M
Reid Colwell, Villanova, D
Mason Woodward, Marquette, D
Jack DiBenedetto, Denver, D
Dylan Hess, Georgetown, SSDM
AJ Mercurio, Denver, LSM
James Corasaniti, Providence, G
Alec Stathakis, Denver, FO

Obviously Bell, Woodward, and Corasaniti get free passes to the team here. Same goes for Colwell because of that whole unanimous pick last year thing, and the same for Bundy in the midfield as well. From there, we can just copy and paste a lot because there’s a lot of First Teamers returning. Cowan, Chabra, and Mercurio fit that bill.

From there, we’re just filling in holes, and there’s enough returning Second Team guys from last spring to do that. O’Grady gets the third attack spot that way, and by the way, no, I don’t know or understand why the guy averaging a hat trick is a Second Teamer behind Cowan, who missed time last season. You can’t even say “ah, well, it’s because the coaches valued league play,” because O’Grady has him beat in goals and points per game there, too. Anyway, where were we? Oh, right.

Lampert had an edge on teammate Stephen Avery in the points department last season, so that breaks that tie for the third and final midfield spot out of guys who were on the Second Team last season. DiBenedetto gets the nod over teammate Jimmy Freehill because I only needed one defender and seniority has its privileges. Hess was the short stick defensive midfielder on the Second Team, so he gets that specialist spot here. Stathakis, a Second Team honoree last year, actually led the Big East in faceoff winning percentage last season, just barely over Georgetown’s James Reilly, a First Team guy, but Stathakis is back and Reilly is not, so there you go. Mostly nice and straightforward, all guys who were honored by the conference for their play one way or another last season.

Predicted Order Of Finish

1 — Georgetown
2 — Denver
3 — Providence
4 — Marquette
5 — Villanova
6 — St. John’s

Hey, guess why St. John’s is last? It’s because this is the first time I’ve mentioned them here. Like I keep saying: Don’t make it complicated.

Of course, I’m violating that rule by putting the Hoyas up top. Are they losing an awful lot from last season? Sure. Have they won five straight Big East tournaments and two straight regular season championships? You bet, and with Denver head coach Bill Tierney retiring after the end of last season, I’m definitely not picking the Pioneers to break up that run.

It’s hard to argue against the best attacker and the best goalie in the league as the next best team behind them, so that’s Providence’s spot nailed down. There’s a chance that Marquette could end up with OPOTY and DPOTY heading into the season between O’Grady and Woodward, so uh, I’m going to lean into that homer-iffic bias and tab the Golden Eagles to supplant the Wildcats from last year’s Big East tournament field.