Lang, O’Rourk deserves preseason honors, Knights are in 5th place

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ATLANTA – The ASUN Conference office on Wednesday announced the 2023 Men’s Lacrosse Preseason All-Conference awards, as voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches. The runners-up in the 2022 ASUN Championship, the Utah Utes, were selected as the top team going into the upcoming season with three first place votes and 92 total points in the poll. The Utes were closely followed by Jacksonville returning to the league for the first time since 2014 with four first place votes and 90 total scores as the team enters the 2023 season ranked 18th nationally in Lacrosse’s preseason poll magazine in the US.

Reigning ASUN Champion Robert Morris completed the last three first-place nods and a total of 85 points to place third, while Air Force (69) and Bellarmine (62) rounded out the top half of the preseason poll in fourth and fifth respectively .

Jacksonville’s Max Waldbaum was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s coaches after an All-American season in 2022. Waldbaum was joined by Utah duo Josh Rose (Midfielder) and Samuel Cambere (Defensive Player) to to earn the superlative of the preseason. as seven league teams placed representatives on the Preseason All-Conference list.

2023 ASUN Men’s Lacrosse Preseason All-Conference TeamGoalie Luke Millican, Jacksonville: A 2022 All-American selection by USILA and USA Lacrosse Magazine last season, Millican posted the best goals-against average (8.27) in the nation and was fifth in save percentage (0.582), earning 152 saves and helping the Dolphins to a 14-3 season in 2022. DefendersBrady Long, Bellarmine: Long earned ASUN All-Freshman Team honors a season ago after finishing second on the team in turnovers caused (28 ) and third in ground balls (34); Long’s points were fourth and T13 respectively in the league as he started in all 17 Knight games.

Troy Hettinger, Jacksonville: Hettinger was named a 2022 USA Lacrosse Magazine All-American and First-Team All-SoCon selection after a season that included 22 ground balls and eight turnovers for the Dolphins; the resident of Ellicott City, Md., also scored six goals and four assists last season.

Owen Down, Robert Morris: A key player in the Colonials’ championships, Down placed third on the roster with 18 turnovers caused and fourth with 33 ground balls collected; Down scored a season-high five ground balls against Detroit Mercy and four turnovers against Air Force, while also scoring a goal in the game against Bellarmine in 2022.

Samuel Cambere, Utah: The league’s top returning defensive disruptor and preseason defensive player of the year, Cambere posted 28 turnovers and collected 66 ground balls to finish third and fourth in the league last season, respectively; Cambere also added three goals and nine assists on the attacking side of the field.

MidfielderBenny O’Rourk, Bellarmine: A 2022 All-Conference First Team selection, O’Rourk led the Knights in shots (77) while finishing second in assists (12) and shots-on-target (40), tied for third in points (29) and finished fourth in goals (17). He helped lead the team to an ASUN Championship berth.

Gannon Matthews, Cleveland State: The ASUN Freshman of the Year is back in the lineup for the Vikings looking for a great second season; Matthews played in all 13 games last season, tallying 19 goals and 15 assists; both brands were in the top 15 of the league in 2022.

Ashton Wood, Mercer: Wood, the Preseason team’s lone faceoff specialist, ended his SoCon tenure as the conference’s all-time leader in ground balls (374), faceoff wins (633), and faceoff win percentage ( .645); Wood won 133 of 209 faceoffs (.636) while adding seven goals and one assist in 2022.

Josh Rose, Utah: A 2022 ASUN All-Conference Second Team selection, Rose played in all 14 games with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) to go with 42 ground balls and five turnovers caused; Rose recorded a career-high six points on a career-high three goals and three assists against Mercer and had a career-high seven ground balls with an assist and a turnover caused against Robert Morris last season.

Forwards Brandon Dodd, Air Force: An All-Conference First Team selection, Dodd scored eight season-high hat-tricks in 2022 before finishing with 46 goals and 70 points as the best in the league; Dodd sat seventh in the nation in goals per game (3.29) and ranked 10th nationally for points per game (4.93).

Max Waldbaum, Jacksonville: Another dolphin named a 2022 All-American by USA Lacrosse Magazine, Inside Lacrosse and USILA. Waldbaum scored 48 goals and 24 assists last year, setting a new program record of 72 total points in a season. Waldbaum had seven games with four or more goals and recorded nine 5+ points in 2022.

Tyler Bradbury, Utah: The 2022 ASUN Offensive Player of the Year returns to the Utes after starting in all 14 games in 2022 with a school-record 62 points (29 goals, school-record 33 assists); Bradbury was ranked first in the ASUN and 14th nationally in assists per game (2.36), and also ranked second in the ASUN and 20th nationally in points per game (4.43) in 2022.

2023 ASUN Men’s Lacrosse Preseason All-Conference Team

Pos. Name School Cl. Residence Academic Major GK Luke Millican Jacksonville Gr. Southlake, Texas MBA D Brady Long Bellarmine So. Mount Laurel, NJ Sports Administration D Troy Hettinger Jacksonville Gr. Ellicott City, Md. D. Owen Down Robert Morris Gr. Scarborough, Ontario Sports Management D Samuel Cambere Utah Sr. Flower Mound, Texas Criminology MF Benny O’Rourk Bellarmine Sr. Hilton Head, SC Business Administration MF Gannon Matthews Cleveland State So. Eagle, Idaho Exercise Science MF Ashton Wood Mercer Gr. Saint Augustine, Fla. MF Josh Rose Utah Jr. Atlanta, Georgia Business Administration A Brandon Dodd Air Force Sr. Logan, Utah Management A Max Waldbaum Jacksonville Gr. Denver, Colo. Economics and Finance A Tyler Bradbury Utah Jr. Oak Park, California Business Administration

2023 ASUN Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll

pl. Team (first place votes) Points 1. Utah (3) 92 2. Jacksonville (4) 90 3. Robert Morris (3) 85 4. Air Force 69 5. Bellarmine 62 6. Mercer 49 7. Cleveland State 38 8. Detroit Mercy 35 9. Lindenwood 17 10. Queens 13

The ASUN also took to social media to poll the fans for the superlative prizes of the conference preseason. After a total of 2,113 votes cast, Queens’ Jack Royer was named the fan-voted player of the year in the preseason. In addition, Lindenwood’s Mason Homer won Fan Voted Midfielder of the Year preseason honors and Robert Morris’ Owen Down earned Fan Voted Defensive Player of the Year preseason honors.

ASUN Conference, Atlanta – the only DI conference headquartered in the ATL, the premier media, sports, business, transportation and cultural hub of our footprint. As a Division I conference member of the NCAA, ASUN boasts a membership of institutions that demonstrate visionary ambition and creative innovation. As an agile adaptive conference, unafraid to blaze a national trail for better service to our student-athletes, teams and institutions, ASUN has a proud history of firsts, national academic and athletic achievements, and a conference culture that leads the way walks with its four ASUN rays. Students first! Rise. Connect. Consequence. #ASUNBuilt by Austin Peay (Clarksville, Tenn.), Bellarmine (Louisville, Ky.), Central Arkansas (Conway, Ark.), Eastern Kentucky (Richmond, Ky.), FGCU (Fort Myers, Fla.), Jacksonville (Fla .), Jacksonville State (Jacksonville, Ala.), Kennesaw State (Ga.), Liberty (Lynchburg, Va.), Lipscomb (Nashville, Tenn.), North Alabama (Florence, Ala.), North Florida (Jacksonville , Fla.), Queens (Charlotte, NC), and Stetson (DeLand, Fla.).

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