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Denver Picked to Win Fifth-Straight BIG EAST Regular Season Crown

Jan. 24, 2018

BIG EAST Release | USILA Preseason Poll | Denver Defensive Preview | Lacrosse Magazine Poll |Inside Lacrosse Preseason Poll | 2018 Season Tickets | 2018 Schedule | Denver Athletics Ticket Office | Pioneer Movement

NEW YORK (Denver/BIG EAST) – The University of Denver men’s lacrosse program, Presented by your Hometown Toyota Stores, was picked first in the BIG EAST Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the conference office announced on Wednesday. Sophomore Ethan Walker (Peterborough, Ontario) and senior Trevor Baptiste (Denville, N.J.) were named BIG EAST Offensive Player and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. This marks the fifth-consecutive year that Denver has been selected as the preseason favorite.
 
Denver has been undefeated in conference play for the past four years with a 21-0 BIG EAST slate.
 
Baptiste and Walker were joined on the 2018 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team by junior midfielder Colton Jackson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), junior close defender Dylan Gaines (Baltimore, Md.) and senior co-captains Connor Donahue (Groton, Mass.) and Sean Mayle (San Carlos, Calif.). Walker, Jackson, Gaines, Mayle and Baptiste were all unanimous selections.
 
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Walker was the unanimous pick for 2017 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. Walker was also a 2017 All-BIG EAST First Team selection in his rookie season as he scored 40 goals in 17 starts. The Denver sophomore led the Pioneers in points with 72, adding 32 assists to his goal total. Walker boasted a 71 percent shots on goal percentage as 66 of his 90 attempts were on target and also picked up 25 ground balls. In league games last year, Walker led the BIG EAST with 6.0 points per game (30) and 3.20 assists per game (16). His 2.80 goals per game ranked third in the conference. Walker helped lead Denver to the national semifinals. The attackman was also honorable mention for USILA All-America honors in 2017.

Baptiste, the 2018 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, became the 58th Division I men’s lacrosse student-athlete in history to be named to the USILA All-America First Team for the third time when he received the honor after the 2017 season. The three-time BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year enters his final season with the Pioneers third in the NCAA record books in faceoff wins (879) and fifth in ground balls (481).


 

 

 
2018 Preseason Men’s Lacrosse All-BIG EAST Team and Awards
 
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Ethan Walker, Denver
 
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Trevor Baptiste, Denver
 
Preseason All-BIG EAST *
^ Tate Boyce, Providence, Jr., GK
Cole Blazer, Marquette, Sr., GK
^ Daniel Bucaro, Georgetown, Jr., A
^ Ethan Walker, Denver, So., A
^ Christian Cuccinello, Villanova, Sr., A
Danny Seibel, Villanova, Sr., A
^ Colton Jackson, Denver, Jr., M
^ Craig Berge, Georgetown, Sr., M
^ Devin McNamara, Villanova, Grad., M
Conner Byrne, Providence, Sr., M
Connor Donahue, Denver, Sr., M
^Nick Grill, Marquette, So., D
^Dylan Gaines, Denver, Jr., D
^ James Barclay, Providence, Sr., D
Pat Smyth, St. John’s, So., D
^ Sean Mayle, Denver, Sr., LSM
^ Trevor Baptiste, Denver, Sr., FOS
Zachary Melillo, Marquette, Sr., FOS
 
Preseason Coaches’ Poll
First place votes in ( )

  1. Denver – 25 pts. (5)

  2. Villanova – 21 pts. (1)

  3. Providence – 16 pts.

  4. Marquette – 14 pts.

  5. Georgetown – 9 pts.

  6. John’s – 5 pts.

^ - denotes unanimous selection­­­­
* - due to a tie in voting, there are 19 members on the all-BIG EAST preseason team
 
In the national preseason polls this year, Denver has been picked third by Lacrosse Magazine, fourth by the United States of Intercollegiate Lacrosse coaches and fifth by the Inside Lacrosse staff.
 
The Pioneers will open the season with a short trip down I-25 to No. 17 Air Force on February 10 (1 p.m. MT). Denver will follow that up with a trip to No. 2 Duke (February 16/3 p.m./ESPNU). The Crimson and Gold will also travel to No. 9 North Carolina (March 5/2 p.m. MT) and No. 6 Notre Dame (March 10/12:30 p.m./ESPNU).
 
Denver’s home games at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium include visits from No. 8 Ohio State (March 17/1 p.m.), No. 14 Towson (March 24/12 p.m.) and No. 15 Marquette (April 28/1 p.m.).
 
Check out the first of three previews for the 2018 Denver men’s lacrosse season here.
 
TICKETS: 
For all Denver Athletics ticket inquires, call 303-871-GOAL (4625). Season tickets for the 2018 season are on sale now for $80 and can be purchased here.
 
Fans interested in making a donation to the men’s lacrosse program can do so by clicking here. Your contribution will make a direct impact on the success of YOUR Pioneers. Thank you in advance for your unwavering support of our student-athletes and their quest for excellence.
 
Student-Athlete Alumni Giving Challenge:
In 2017-18, the University of Denver is holding an alumni giving challenge in an effort to increase student-athlete alumni participation in the Denver Athletics Annual Fund. The sport program with the highest percentage of alumni participation will receive an additional $10,000 of support through the generosity of an anonymous donor. Former student-athletes can make a gift online, by calling 303-871-2388 during normal business hours or by sending a check to:

Athletics Development Office
Attn: Kaley Rickert
2201 E. Asbury Avenue 
Denver, CO 80208  

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