Mann, Ziegler on preseason MAAC first team
Cam Mann, left, and Jake Ziegler are on the MAAC first team.
Cam Mann, left, and Jake Ziegler are on the MAAC first team.
Two JU players have been named to the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason men’s lacrosse first team. Midfielder Cameron Mann and defenseman Jake Ziegler, both team captains, are among the best at their position, according to a vote of league coaches.

Mann, a junior from Hamilton, Ontario, led the team with 37 points last season on 18 goals and 19 assists.

“It’s cool to get our names out there but you can’t do it without your teammates,’’ Mann said. “It’s just preseason so we’ve got to go out and perform and live up to it now. At the end of the season if they’re naming us at the banquet we’ll be happy but preseason doesn’t mean much to us.’’

Ziegler, a senior from Webster, N.Y., had 18 caused turnovers and 44 ground balls last year. He is the only player to have started every game (28) in the team’s first two years and has been nominated this season for the Lowe’s Senior Class award which is based on character, classroom, community and competition.

“All of these awards are nice and it’s great we were selected, but when it comes down to it we’d rather see a MAAC championship trophy in our possession,’’ Ziegler said. “It is nice to be recognized, it’s nice to know we are a part of that but we’d like to win as a team.’’

Siena's Bryan Neufeld was chosen as the 2012 MAAC Preseason Player of the Year. Neufeld, a native of Virgil, Ontario, was named Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 and Rookie of the Year in 2010. Last season, he averaged 3.61 point per game and 2.22 goals per game.

The preseason All-MAAC team consists of Canisius' Simon Giormetakis, Detroit's Adams, Marist's Connor Rice and Siena's Neufeld at attack. The midfielders are Mann, Marist’s Jim Marks and Siena's Chris Roth. Detroit's Hebden, Ziegler and Marist’s Ethan Fox were selected as the defensemen. Siena's Tom Morr was chosen as the goalie.

The Dolphins, 5-10 overall and 3-3 in the conference last season, has been tabbed in a tie for fourth with Canisius. Each team had 27 points in coaches voting.

The coaches picked Detroit Mercy as the league’s preseason favorite with 43 points followed by Siena with 42. Marist was voted third (34 points) with Manhattan sixth and VMI seventh.

- Jim Nasella