Dec. 11, 2008
Both seniors, Koppens and Ricci were just two of 11 players to be named to the preseason team. The duo received similar acclamation last year as each was named to the first team All-ECAC after leading the Greyhounds to the 2008 ECAC title and to Loyola's second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
"We are honored to have two All-ECAC selections," 2008 ECAC head coach of the year Charley Toomey said. "Shane and P.T. are tremendous leaders, as well as being very talented lacrosse players. Shane is a returning All-American as well as the 2008 ECAC Offensive Player of the Year. P.T. might be the most athletic long pole playing the college game at the moment."
The reigning ECAC offensive player of the year, Koppens was named a USILA Honorable Mention All-American at attack last year after finishing as the league's top scorer with 44 points. A native of Clifton Park, N.Y., Koppens is currently eighth on Loyola's all-time assist list with 61. He led the Greyhounds with 25 assists last season and his 19 goals were good for second. Also excelling in the classroom, Koppens has been named to the ECAC honor roll on five occasions.
Ricci has established himself as one of the premier long-stick midfielders in the collegiate game. He appeared in every game last season, tallying 84 groundballs and 41 caused turnovers, both of which were the among the nation's best.A native of Wayne, Pa., Ricci collected at least five groundballs in 10 games last season. He was named ECAC defensive player of the week after grabbing 10 groundballs and causing eight turnovers in a win over Penn State.
The Nittany Lions took home two of the three major preseason awards, with Drew Adams being selected as defensive player of the year and Matthew Mackrides earning rookie of the year. Rutgers' Justin Pennington was tabbed as the offensive player of the year.
Loyola went 6-1 in the ECAC last year and won the conference title for the first time since joining in 2005. On Tuesday, the Greyhounds were picked to finish second in the ECAC by the league coaches, picking up three of the eight first-place votes. The team opens up its schedule on February 14, 2009, against Notre Dame in Atlanta, Ga.
For the complete listing, please see below:
2009 Preseason All-ECAC Team
A Shane Koppens, Loyola #^ Sr.
A Craig Dowd, Georgetown Jr.
A Kory Kelly, Rutgers So.
M Justin Pennington, Rutgers ^ Jr.
M Matt Smalley, Hobart ^ Sr.
M Andrew Brancaccio, Georgetown ^ Jr.
D Barney Ehrmann, Georgetown #^ Jr.
D Chris O'Dougherty, Rutgers #^ Sr.
D Diogo Godoi, Massachusetts ^ Jr.
Sp. P.T. Ricci, Loyola (LSM) ^ Sr.
G Drew Adams, Penn State *#^ Sr.
^ 2008 All-ECAC
# 2007 All-ECAC
* 2006 All-ECAC
Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Pennington, Rutgers Jr.
Defensive Player of the Year: Drew Adams, Penn State Sr.
Rookie of the Year: Matthew Mackrides, Penn State Fr.