Limestone Picked to Win Conference Carolinas
from press release
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Coming off of their seventh NCAA Division II National Championship Game appearance, fourth straight regular season and tournament league titles and their record 13th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Limestone College men's lacrosse program has once again been picked to win Conference Carolinas as announced by the league on Thursday, January 31 in its annual preseason poll. The poll was voted on by the league's seven men's lacrosse head coaches.
The Saints earned 36 points and six of the seven first place votes while Pfeiffer, Limestone's strongest league competition a year ago, is second in the poll with 31 points and the other first place vote. Queens University of Charlotte, playing their final season in Conference Carolinas, is slotted third with 24 points and rival Belmont Abbey is a close fourth with 22 points.
Coming off of one of their most successful seasons in team history, in which they broke the program record for wins with 17 (17-2), advanced to their seventh NCAA Division II National Championship Game and once again claimed Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament titles, Limestone is poised for another long run into the postseason.
While they must replace the production of a number of top performers, including United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association First-Team All-Americans Shayne Jackson and Jackson Decker, the Saints have a number of key players returning in 2013. Chief among them is reigning Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, USILA Specialist of the Year and First-Team All-American faceoff man Jake Ternosky (LaFayette, N.Y.).
Already an Inside Lacrosse Preseason First-Team All-American, Ternosky is coming off of a season that saw him win 234 of 358 faceoffs for an incredible .654 percentage, good for second in the nation, and took 153 more attempts than the national leader to achieve that level. He also finished with 101 groundballs and was named the Nike National Player of the Week on March 9. He also became the first Saint to be named Conference Carolinas Male Athlete of the Year.
Ternosky gets the ball to one of the most dangerous offenses in the country 65-percent of the time. That offense this year will continue to be fueled by senior attack Riley Loewen (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) who finished 2012 with 48 goals, 20 assists, 68 points and 30 groundballs. A Second-Team USILA All-American for the second straight year, and a former Co-Conference Carolinas Player of the Year (2011), Loewen finished 14th in the nation in goals per game with a mark of 2.61 and was 16th in points per game with a mark of 3.67.
Capping off the Saints group of top returnees is senior midfielder Tor Reinholdt (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada). Last season Reinholdt erupted as one of Limestone's more productive players in 2012 after being a solid player in his first two seasons. Appearing in all 19 games for the national finalist he scored 26 goals, dished out 12 assists for 38 points and finished with 47 groundballs and six caused turnovers.
Those efforts, as well as two key back-to-back goals in Limestone's 9-5 win over Pfeiffer in the Conference Carolinas Championship, earned him USILA Second-Team All-American honors as well as All-Conference Carolinas First-Team, Tournament Most Valuable Player and All-Tournament recognition. Like Ternosky and Loewen, he has also been selected as an Inside Lacrosse Preseason First-Team All-American.
Limestone will open the 2013 campaign in the State of Florida as they take on Tampa (2/15) and Saint Leo (2/17) before returning to Gaffney, S.C. for a home opener that will be the focus of the entire NCAA Division II lacrosse world. In that game, the Saints will take on Dowling at 1 p.m. in a rematch of the 2012 National Championship Game that was decided by just one goal.
2013 Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Limestone (6) 36
2. Pfeiffer (1) 31
3. Queens (N.C.) 24
4. Belmont Abbey 22
5. Mount Olive 15
6. Coker 13
7. Lees-McRae 6