Jan. 22, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Villanova senior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) and juniors John LoCascio (West Essex, N.J) and Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N .J.) have been selected to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team, as announced by the conference office Tuesday afternoon. Additionally, the Wildcats were chosen to finish fourth in the league and garnered 21 overall points while Notre Dame, Syracuse and St. John's rounded out the top four slots in the preseason poll.
Kieran McArdle of St. John's was selected as the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Notre Dame's John Kemp and Syracuse's Brian Megill shared honors as the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Players of the Year for the second-straight year.
Rice, an unanimous selection to the preseason team and a three-year starter, has earned conference honors each season since he was a freshman. The senior co-captain followed up his successful underclassman years with a stellar junior season notching 31 goals and one assist in 2012. For his career, he's tallied 91 goals and ranks 7th all-time at Villanova with 91 career goals. He needs just 37 more scores to become the all-time leading goal scorer in Villanova history.
LoCascio earns his first preseason honors after being named to the 2012 BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament and All-BIG EAST Second Teams just a season ago. The long-stick middie and co-captain has appeared in all 31 games of his career and tallied 65 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers in 2012. For his career, he's tallied one goal, two assists, 79 ground balls and 34 caused turnovers.
Croonquist, an unanimous selection to the preseason team, earns his second preseason accolade of the season after being named an Inside Lacrosse Honorable Mention All-American just a few weeks ago. A 2012 Second Team All-BIG East selection, Croonquist registered a .603 face-off win percentage last season going 140-232 from the X as a sophomore and picked up 66 ground balls. In 2012 he ranked ninth in the NCAA with a .603 win percentage and is currently third all-time at Villanova with a career .602 face-off win percentage.
The Wildcats open the 2013 season on Saturday, February 16th vs. Lehigh at Villanova Stadium. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.
The seven men's lacrosse members of the BIG EAST participate in a six-game, single round-robin format, playing each opponent once each year. The 2013 season will mark the second BIG EAST Championship, held May 4 and 6 at Villanova University. 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.
2013 BIG EAST Preseason Awards & Poll
BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Kieran McArdle, St. John's, Jr., A
BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Players of the Year
John Kemp, Notre Dame, Sr., G
Brian Megill, Syracuse, Sr., D
All-BIG EAST Preseason Team^
Brian Casey, Georgetown, A
Dan McKinney, Georgetown, M
Chris Nourse, Georgetown, D
Westy Hopkins, Notre Dame, A
*John Kemp, Notre Dame, Sr., GK
*Jim Marlatt, Notre Dame, M
*Matt Miller, Notre Dame, D
Sean Rogers, Notre Dame, A
*Dillon Ayers, St. John's, LSM
*Kieran McArdle, St. John's, A
*JoJo Marasco, Syracuse, M
*Brian Megill, Syracuse, D
* Thomas Croonquist, Villanova, SP
John LoCascio, Villanova, LSM
* Jack Rice, Villanova, A
^ - players were added to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team due to a tie in voting
*- unanimous selection
BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll
2012 Points Overall Record
Notre Dame (5) 35 13-3, 6-0 BIG EAST
Syracuse (2) 32 9-8, 3-3 BIG EAST
St. John's 23 8-7, 3-3 BIG EAST
Villanova 21 8-7, 4-2 BIG EAST
Georgetown 19 7-6, 3-3 BIG EAST
Rutgers 9 6-9, 1-5 BIG EAST
Providence 8 2-12, 1-5 BIG EAST
(-) - First-place votes