Three Lions earn Preseason All-America recognition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Three Nittany Lion men's lacrosse student-athletes were tabbed by Inside Lacrosse on its Preseason All-America lists on Tuesday (Dec. 10) morning.

Senior goalie Austin Kaut (Morton, Pa.) was tabbed preseason first-team All-America. Senior midfielder Tom LaCrosse (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and sophomore attackman TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ont.) earned honorable mention from the Inside Lacrosse staff.

The reigning Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award winner for college lacrosse's top goalie, Kaut returns to Happy Valley for his senior season. Kaut is just the second Nittany Lion in the program's 100 years to earn USILA All-America First Team honors and was the first to do so since George Ritter in 1940.

For Kaut, he has steadily risen to becoming the nation's top goalie, earning USILA All-America honorable mention in 2011 as a freshman, a third-team honor in 2012 before the 2013's first-team accolade. In 2014, Kaut will have a chance to become the first repeat Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award winner since 1999-2000 (Mickey Jarboe, Navy). Additionally, Kaut is the first goalie from the Colonial Athletic Association to earn a first-team All-America honor.

Kaut, the 2013 CAA's Player and Defensive Player of the Year, posted a career year with a 7.37 goals-against average (third in the nation) while making a career-high 194 saves this season. Kaut also stopped 61 percent of shots on goal (second in the nation) and registered a 12-5 record for the Nittany Lions. Kaut saved 10 or more shots in 12 of 17 games including three 16-save performances.

A tough-nosed midfielder who has improved every year, LaCrosse showed his guts and guile by carving up opposing defenses to the tune of 23 goals, five assists and 28 points: all career highs in 2013. LaCrosse also collected 17 ground balls and caused three turnovers, proving to be one of Penn State's most aggressive players on the attacking end.

LaCrosse tallied three hat tricks last season and was vital to Penn State's offense during a 10-game winning streak, scoring in the final nine victories of the season. The nine-game goal streak was the longest of his career, while also posting a point in all but two games.

For Sanders, the leading scorer on the team from last season with 44 goals, he tied for 15th in the nation in goals per game (2.59) following a stellar freshman season in 2013. Sanders was named the CAA's Rookie of the Year after leading the conference in scoring, while garnering a spot in the All-CAA Second Team, the only freshman recognized on either of the All-CAA teams.

Yesterday, the Nittany Lions were tabbed eighth by Inside Lacrosse in the staff and coaches' polls. This year's Nittany Lion squad will try to accomplish another first in program history: earn back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. Penn State returns eight starters from a team that went undefeated in CAA play last season and earned a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Penn State's 2014 campaign kicks off with a home game on Feb. 8 against Michigan at 1 p.m. Prior to that contest, the Nittany Lions host Lehigh in an exhibition on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 5:45 p.m. before taking on future Big Ten rival Johns Hopkins in a Feb. 1 exhibition in Baltimore.

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Last Updated December 13, 2013