BALTIMORE, Md. -- Lacrosse Magazine has released its 2002 Preseason Men's and Women's Lacrosse polls and All-American selections. The Washington and Lee men's team was ranked fifth, while the women's team was ranked 14th in Division III.
In addition, junior midfielder Tom Melanson (Baltimore, Md./Loyola) and senior defender Eloise Priest (Alexandria, Va./St. Stephens-St. Agnes) were named to the publication's preseason First Team All-America teams. Sophomore goalie Joanna Perini (Huntington, N.Y./Huntington) was listed among the players to watch this season.
Leading the men's preseason Top 10 is two-time defending national champion Middlebury, followed by last season's runner-up Gettysburg, Salisbury, Nazareth, W&L, Denison, Ithaca, Washington College, Springfield and Ohio Wesleyan. Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) foes Hampden-Sydney (11) and Roanoke (20) also cracked the Top 20.
Middlebury also sits atop the women's poll followed by Amherst, College of New Jersey, Williams, Salisbury, Mary Washington, William Smith, Cortland, Ursinus and Hamilton. W&L is the only ODAC school recognized in the Top 20.
Melanson also earned 2002 Preseason First Team All-America honors from Faceoff Magazine. He was a First Team All-ODAC and USILA Honorable Mention All-America selection last season after winning 197-of-268 (.735) faceoffs. He also tallied 14 points on nine goals and five assists.
Priest was selected to the First Team after garnering First Team All-ODAC, All-Region and All-America honors last season. She spearheaded a W&L defense which finished sixth in Division III in goals allowed per game (6.16).
Perini was chosen as a player to watch after receiving Second Team All-Region and Honorable Mention All-America honors in 2001. She ranked sixth nationally in goals-against average (6.05) and seventh nationally in save percentage (.633).
The Washington and Lee men's team finished the 2001 season with a 14-1 overall record, while the women finished 15-4 overall, won the ODAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
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