NEWTON, Mass. – The Lasell College men's lacrosse team has been selected to finish first in the annual Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office Wednesday afternoon.
The Lasers received seven of the possible 10 first place votes and earned 97 points. Johnson & Wales follows the Lasers with 87 points, with Norwich and Mount Ida rounding out the top four with 79 and 77 points respectively. Johnson & Wales, Norwich, and Mount Ida each received one first place vote in the poll.
In 2017 the Lasers finished with a 13-4 overall record, including 8-0 in conference regular season play. Lasell won their first conference championship after defeating crosstown rival Mount Ida at home on May 6, winning 13-12 in the final minutes of regulation.
In the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance, the Lasers traveled to Salisbury, Maryland to face Misericordia (Pa.) where they lost 9-7 at Sea Gull Stadium, home of the two-time defending National Champion Salisbury Sea Gulls.
Reigning GNAC Men's Lacrosse Coach of the Year Bill Mason will look to lead the Lasers to a consecutive conference championship in 2018.
Lasell returns five All-GNAC selections from 2017, including GNAC Rookie of the Year Daniel Gorman (Wilbraham, Mass.) and First Team selection junior midfielder Ryan Madden (Hingham, Mass.) Also back for the Lasers are Second Team senior midfielders Austin Tomasetti (Elmsford, N.Y.), Alex McCormack-Kuhman (Wells, Maine) and junior defender David Sheehan (Tewksbury, Mass.)
Junior Austin Shindoll (Denver, Colo.), whose 49 points in 2017 were good enough for second-best on the team and senior Michael Susi (Gorham, Maine) will round out the Lasers powerful offense in 2018.
Lasell will face a challenging non-conference schedule, including three road contests to open up the 2018 campaign. The Lasers will travel to Roger Williams University on February 28, hoping to avenge their 13-12 loss in 2017. Lasell enters GNAC action on March 28 against Saint Joseph's (ME) at Grellier Field.
On March 3, Lasell travels to Springfield to face Western New England before taking on NESCAC foe Connecticut College on March 6th. Two days later the Lasers return to Grellier Field, hosting Plymouth State. In 2017, the Lasers defeated the Little East Conference foe in a 12-11 overtime thriller.
Over Spring Break, Lasell will travel to Baltimore, Maryland to face University of New England on Friday March 16. The game will be played at historic Homewood Field, on the campus of John Hopkins University.
The 2018 GNAC Tournament will get underway with quarterfinal action on Saturday, April 28 at the four highest seeds. Semifinals are set for Wednesday, May 2 with the championship game slated for Saturday, May 5. The GNAC Tournament champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.
2018 GNAC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
1. Lasell (7) - 97
2. Johnson & Wales (1) - 83
3. Norwich (1) - 79
4. Mount Ida (1) - 77
5. Emmanuel - 54
6. Saint Joseph's Maine - 53
7. Regis (Mass.) - 39
8. Rivier - 38
9. Albertus Magnus - 15
10. Anna Maria - 15
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