HIGH POINT, N.C. – Sophomore Dan Lomas was named the Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year and the High Point University men’s lacrosse team was picked to finish second in the inaugural Atlantic Sun men’s lacrosse preseason poll, it was announce Wednesday. Redshirt-senior Garrett Swaim and redshirt-sophomore Mitchell Dupere were also named to the Preseason All-Conference team.
Lomas tied with Mercer’s Chris Baxa for the Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Last year as a true freshman, Lomas led High Point with 36 goals while also notching five assists for a total of 41 points. The attackman finished third on the team with 12 caused turnovers and picked up 31 ground balls. Lomas scored multiple goals in 10 of HPU’s 15 games. He had a career-high six goals in the win over Michigan and scored four goals with three caused turnovers and six ground balls in the win over Towson.
The Atlantic Sun also allowed fans to choose their own Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year. Lomas was voted by the fans as the Offensive Player of the Year while fans picked VMI’s Tyler Prasnicki as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Swaim started all 15 games for High Point last year and led the team 18 caused turnovers. He picked up 37 ground balls on the season and notched his only point with an assist in the win over Michigan. Swaim is a captain for the second year in 2014.
Dupere was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Conference team. The redshirt-sophomore midfielder was HPU’s third-leading scorer in 2013, picking up 22 points on 15 goals and seven assists. He had five multi-goal games including two goals at North Carolina. He also had 14 ground balls and two caused turnovers a season ago.
The league’s head coaches picked High Point to finish second in the Atlantic Sun behind Jacksonville. Jacksonville picked up five first place votes while Mercer received one but finished third in the preseason poll. VMI was picked to finish fourth while first-year programs Furman and Richmond tied for fifth.
High Point begins the 2014 season on Feb. 1 at Delaware in a rematch of last year’s program opener. The Blue Hens narrowly escaped Vert Stadium with a 12-10 win over HPU in the game. The Panthers home opener is Feb. 15 against Saint Joseph’s at 1 p.m. at Vert Stadium.
High Point returns 38 players, including nine starters, from a season ago. The Panthers also added 16 newcomers to the roster for 2014. HPU begins Atlantic Sun play at home against preseason-favorite Jacksonville on March 1 at noon.
Preseason Co-Offensive Players of the Year:
Dan Lomas, High Point and Chris Baxa, Mercer
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Pete DeLuca, Jacksonville
Fan-Voted Preseason Offensive Players of the Year: Dan Lomas
Fan-Voted Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Tyler Prasnicki, VMI
Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team
Pos. Name School Class Hometown GK Pete DeLuca Jacksonville Sr. Millersville, Pa. D Ralph D'Agostino* Furman So. Tewksbury, N.J. D Garrett Swaim High Point R-Sr. Salisbury, Conn. D Austin Curtis Jacksonville Jr. Marcy, N.Y. MF Mitchell Dupere* High Point R-So. Raleigh, N.C. MF David Goldman* Jacksonville Sr. Baltimore, Md. MF Conor Igoe Jacksonville Sr. Columbus, Ohio MF Cole Branch Mercer Sr. Marietta, Ga. A Dan Lomas High Point So. Burlington, Ontario A Ari Waffle Jacksonville Jr. Manlius, N.Y. A Chris Baxa* Mercer So. Owings, Md. LS Tyler Black Jacksonville Sr. Jupiter, Fla. SS/FO Justin Evans Mercer Jr. Acworth, Ga. *Unanimous Selection **A tie in voting resulted in four midfielders2014 Atlantic Sun Preseason Poll
Rk. Team (first) Points 1. Jacksonville (5) 35 2. High Point 27 3. Mercer (1) 26 4. VMI 16 T5. Furman 11 T5. Richmond 11