PROVIDENCE, R.I. - It was announced by the league on Wednesday, Jan. 24 that Providence College men's lacrosse players James Barclay (Toronto, Ontario), Tate Boyce (Matthews, N.C.) and Conner Byrne (Hicksville, N.Y.) were named to the 2018 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. Boyce and Barclay were each honored as unanimous selections. The Friars also were picked to finish third in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Barclay has served as an integral part of the Friars' defensive unit in each of his three seasons. Last season, the defenseman started in each of the Friars' 17 contests. He collected a career-best 36 groundballs and caused 13 turnovers. He also tallied two points on two assists.
Boyce was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year at the conclusion of the 2017 campaign and also earned USILA All-America Third Team, Inside Lacrosse Media All-America honorable mention, NEILA First-Team All-New England and All-BIG EAST First-Team recognition. He compiled a 10-7 overall record and ranked sixth in the nation in save percentage (.569) and goals-against average (8.05). The goalkeeper has received All-BIG EAST First Team honors during each of his two seasons with the Friars.
In 2017, Byrne was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection and finished the season with 13 points on nine goals and four assists for the Friars. He collected 40 ground balls and caused 13 turnovers. His totals in each statistical category marked single-season career highs.
Barclay, Boyce and Byrne each have been selected as team captains heading into the 2018 season.
Providence was picked to finish third in the 2018 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll with a total of 16 points. Denver was picked to win the league, having collected five first-place votes and 25 points overall. Villanova was picked to finish second, with one first-place vote and 21 points.
Last season, the Friars advanced to the BIG EAST Championship game for the first time in program history and also made back-to-back appearances in the BIG EAST Tournament (2016, 2017) for the first time since the league began sponsoring lacrosse in 2010. The 2017 BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year, led by Head Coach Chris Gabrielli, guided the Friars to a 10-7 overall record and the program's first-ever national ranking. Providence's 10 victories on the season also matched a program best. The team's 10th victory of the year came against then-15th ranked Villanova (10-7) in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship. The Friars were narrowly defeated in the title game by Marquette, 10-9.
Providence College opens the 2018 season against Boston University on Feb. 3 in Boston, Mass. The Friars return home to Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium on Feb. 10 to start a three-game home stand against Holy Cross (Feb. 10), Bryant (Feb. 17) and Saint Joseph's (Feb. 24).
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 ( )
- Denver - 25 pts. (5)
- Villanova - 21 pts. (1)
- Providence - 16 pts.
- Marquette - 14 pts.
- Georgetown - 9 pts.
- St. John's - 5 pts.
^ - denotes unanimous selection
* - due to a tie in voting, there are 19 members on the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team
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