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Cunningham Named BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Senior co-captain Matt Bell

Jan. 19, 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Villanova senior attackman Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y./Kellenberg) has been selected as the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, as announced by the conference office on Thursday afternoon. Joining Cunningham on the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team is fellow senior defenseman Chris Creighton (West Chester, Pa./Malvern Prep) and midfielder Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md./St. Mary's).

Villanova was chosen to finish third in the league, garnering two first-place votes and 28 overall points. In 2011, the Wildcats earned their first at-large berth to the NCAA Championship after finishing the season with an 11-5 overall record.

Notre Dame's John Kemp and Syracuse's Brian Megill share honors as the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Players of the Year while the Orange were selected to finish first in the league after posting a 15-2 overall record in 2011. Following Syracuse, Notre Dame and Villanova in the team standings were Georgetown, St. John's, Rutgers and Providence, respectively.

Cunningham played in 13 games last season, recording 24 goals and 21 assists for a team-high 45 points despite missing three games to injury. The senior co-captain led the BIG EAST averaging 3.46 points per game, ranking him 15th in the NCAA. Creighton, a 2011 All-BIG EAST Second Team selection, captured 38 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers in 2011 as a close defenseman while Bell, a fellow 2011 All-BIG EAST Second Team honoree, notched 18 goals and 17 assists for 29 points as a mainstay in the Villanova midfield.

The Wildcats will open the 2012 season on Saturday, Feb. 18th at Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. for a Noon matchup.



Senior Chris Creighton

The seven men's lacrosse members of the BIG EAST participate in a six-game, single round-robin format, with one division playing each opponent once each year. The 2012 season will mark the first BIG EAST Championship to be held May 3rd and 5th at Villanova Stadium on the Villanova University campus. The top four teams in the conference standings, determined and seeded by winning percentage in conference play at the conclusion of the regular season, will advance to compete in the postseason.

BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

Kevin Cunningham, Villanova, Sr., A

BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Players of the Year

Brian Megill, Syracuse, Jr., D

John Kemp, Notre Dame, Jr., GK

All-BIG EAST Preseason Team

Zack Angel, Georgetown, Sr., M

Travis Comeau, Georgetown, Jr., A

John Kemp, Notre Dame, Jr. GK *

Liam O'Connor, Notre Dame, So., F/O

Kevin Randall, Notre Dame, Sr., D

Sean Rogers, Notre Dame, Sr., A

Dillon Ayers, St. John's, Jr., LSM

Tim Desko, Syracuse, R-Sr., A

Matt Harris, Syracuse, So., D/LSM

JoJo Marasco, Syracuse, Jr., M/A *

Brian Megill, Syracuse, Jr., D

Matt Bell, Villanova, Sr., M

Chris Creighton, Villanova, Sr., D *

Kevin Cunningham, Villanova, Sr. A *

* - unanimous selection

2012 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll

Syracuse (4) - 34 points

Notre Dame (1) - 29 points

Villanova (2) - 28 points

Georgetown - 21 points

St. John's - 16 points

Rutgers - 12 points

Providence - 7 points

(-) First-place votes