West Babylon, N.Y. - Northern Boulevard rivals LIU Post and NYIT have tied for first place in the East Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's coaches. Mercy standouts Ryan MacSpadyen (Toronto, Ontario) and Max Littleton (Mahopac, N.Y.) have been voted as the ECC Preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.
LIU Post and NYIT, who have met three of the past four ECC Championship Finals, both finished with 45 points to top the poll. LIU Post finished with more first place votes however, claiming four to NYIT's three. The Pioneers are coming off a 10-5 season that ended with an overtime loss to NYIT in the conference championship. LIU Post has four All-Conference honorees back in the fold including Connor Farrell, PJ Usak, Bryan Ochs, and William Snelders, the reigning ECC Rookie of the Year who led the ECC with 61 goals and all of Division II with 4.07 goals per game.
NYIT also shares first place on the heels of a 13-5 season that saw the Bears win a second straight ECC Championships. For the second year in a row, the Bears won the conference title in overtime, this time on a goal from Andrew Zito. Zito, a United State Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Third Team honoree, is joined by All-Conference returnees Nick DeLuca and Frank Callan to lead the Bears in 2019.
Mercy is third in the poll with 36 points while Molloy and Roberts Wesleyan tie for fourth with 22 points. District of Columbia is next at No. 6 with 14 points and St. Thomas Aquinas rounds out the poll at No. 7 with 12 points.
MacSpadyen claims the ECC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year award for the second straight season. MacSpadyen earned a second straight All-Conference First Team selection and third overall after tallying 36 goals and 18 assists for 54 points on the season. All three total ranked in the top-10 in the ECC. He also led the loop with nine man-up goals on the year. In addition to his All-Conference accolades, MacSpadyen earned All-America honors for the first time in his career in 2018 with a spot on the USILA Second Team.
Littleton, another Mercy senior with a decorated career, is the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. After earning a share of the league's Defensive Player of the Year honor in 2017, Littleton posted another strong campaign in 2018. He anchored a defense that allowed an ECC-low 127 goals and 8.44 goals against average. Individually, he led the ECC with 31 caused turnovers and was among the top-10 in the conference with 43 ground balls. His strong play earned him a spot on the All-Conference First Team and Honorable Mention All-America laurels from the USILA.
2019 ECC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
|School||Pts.||Last Year's Record|
|T1. LIU Post (4)||45||10-5 (5-1 ECC)|
|T1. NYIT (3)||45||13-5 (6-0 ECC)|
|3. Mercy||36||10-5 (4-2 ECC)|
|T4. Molloy||22||9-7 (2-4 ECC)|
|T4. Roberts Wesleyan||22||6-10 (2-4 ECC)|
|6. Dist. Columbia||14||8-7 (1-5 ECC)|
|7. St. Thomas Aquinas||12||5-10 (1-5 ECC)|
( ) - first place votes
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Ryan MacSpadyen, Sr., M, Mercy
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Max Littleton, Sr., D, Mercy