|Men’s Lax 12th in Preseason Poll
The men’s lacrosse team has been ranked 12th in the nation, according to the preseason United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division III Top 20. This is the third preseason ranking for the Engineers, who are listed 11th in the Lacrosse Magazine Division III Top 20 and 16th in Face-Off Yearbook’s Top 20 Poll.
Led by head coach Jim Townsend, who enters the fifth year of his second stint at Rensselaer, the Engineers went 14-3 overall last spring, including a 6-0 Liberty League record. The squad earned the league’s regular season title and concluded the 2010 campaign ranked 12th nationally after winning the conference championship and earning a bye into the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, later falling to Middlebury College.
Among the year-ending accolades for Rensselaer was a unanimous Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year honor for Townsend and his assistants. In addition to the conference’s Rookie of the Year, Rensselaer also saw eight student-athletes garner All-League recognition, including two on the First Team.
Rensselaer finished last season ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 6.18 goals per contest, while also posting the 10th-best winning percentage in the nation (.824). The Engineers led the Liberty League in goals per game (10.47), ground balls per game (37.94), points (16.00), and shot percentage (.288). The team was also second in goals against average (6.15) and save percentage (.629).
The Engineers return three of their top five point-getters from a year ago including seniors Nick Billy, Devin Arnold, and Conor Chocheles. Billy, who is a 2011 Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Third Team selection, led the team in scoring with 46 points on 28 goals and 18 assists. He was also a USILA All-America Honorable Mention and All-Liberty League First Team selection in 2010. Arnold finished fourth on the squad in scoring with 22 goals and 11 assists for 33 points, while Chochelesan All-League Second Team honoree was fifth in scoring with 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points. Additionally, he was one of five players to start all 17 contests last season.
Rensselaer kicked off its 2011 campaign at home on March 2 (after this issue went to print), hosting Manhattanville at East Campus Stadium.