HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team was picked as the preseason favorites in the Southern Conference while seniors Dan Lomas, Zack Price and Jamie Piluso garnered all-conference accolades, the league office announced Wednesday.
The defending SoCon Tournament champions collected four first-place votes and a total of 46 points to edge out Richmond (45) for first place. Conference newcomer Air Force finds itself in third with 38 points while Mercer (31) rounds out the top four. A season after finishing fifth in the league, Bellarmine is placed fifth with 23 tallies. Furman (18), Jacksonville (16) and VMI (7) round out the rest of the poll.
Lomas, the two-time conference offensive player of the year, was one of three attackmen on the first team. The Burlington, Ontario native has led the conference in goals scored the past two seasons including his program-record 43-goal campaign in 2015.
At the face-off X, Piluso was picked to defend his 2015 All-SoCon First Team selection. The senior is the nation’s active leader in career ground balls (258) and face-offs won (514). In his junior season, he won .554 of the draws after winning .594 in 2014.
With the graduation of Austin Geisler and Pat Farrell, Price is the Panthers’ most experienced defender. Last season, the Cumming, Ga. native racked up 27 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers while starting at 17 games.
The Purple & White open the 2016 regular season on Friday, Feb. 12 at No. 3 Duke with a 7 p.m. opening face-off.
2016 Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll
School (First-Place Votes) Total
1. High Point (4) 46
2. Richmond (4) 45
3. Air Force 38
4. Mercer 31
5. Bellarmine 23
6. Furman 18
7. Jacksonville 16
8. VMI 7
2016 Men’s Lacrosse Preseason All-Conference Team
J.P. Forester, Jr., Richmond
Dan Lomas, Sr., High Point
Chris Walsch, So., Air Force
Tucker Ciessau, Jr., Bellarmine
Mitch Goldberg, Jr., Richmond
Alex Hatem, Sr., Richmond
Brendan Hynes, Jr., Richmond
Zack Price, Sr., High Point
Bobby Schmitt, Sr., Bellarmine
Reilly McDermott, So., Furman
Benny Pugh, Jr., Richmond
Jamie Piluso, Sr., High Point
Taylor Stuart, Sr., Bellarmine