NEWTON, Mass. – The Lasell College men's lacrosse team has been voted to finish second in the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) preseason poll, as voted by the league's head coaches.
Lasell, Norwich University and defending champion Johnson & Wales University all received first-place votes in the poll, with Norwich earning the top spot with 71 points and four first-place nods. The Lasers, which finished 8-1 along with Norwich to share the GNAC regular season title last spring, received 69 points and three first-place votes. JWU, which upset Norwich in the championship game as the sixth seed, slotted into the third position with 62 points and the other two first-place tallies.
The Lasers will open the season next Wednesday, February 27, with a non-conference home game against MIT at 3:00 p.m. at Grellier Field.
Saint Joseph's College of Maine was just one point back of JWU, as the top-four were all within 10 points of one another in the voting. Making up the remainder of the poll was Rivier University (42 points), Emmanuel College (39), Anna Maria College (31), Regis College (18) and Albertus Magnus College (12).
The Lasers return 20 veterans from last year's squad, which finished 9-7 overall and 8-1 in the GNAC under head coach Bill Mason. Included in the group of returnees are three All-Conference selections -- senior midfielder Ryan Madden (Hingham, Mass.), senior defenseman David Sheehan (Tewksbury, Mass.), and sophomore face-off specialist Ben Werner (Boxford, Mass.). The Laser captains this spring are Sheehan and senior midfielder Mike Susi (Gorham, Maine).
The 2019 GNAC Tournament will feature the top-eight teams qualifying for the postseason, with the quarterfinals at the four highest seeds scheduled for Saturday, April 27. The semis will take place on Tuesday, Apr. 30, followed by the title game (at the highest remaining seed) on Saturday, May 4.
The league will grow to 10 men's lacrosse institutions in 2020, as the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) will launch its varsity program next year.
2019 GNAC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
1) Norwich (4) - 71
2) Lasell (3) - 69
3) Johnson & Wales (2) - 62
4) Saint Joseph's Maine - 61
5) Rivier - 42
6) Emmanuel - 39
7) Anna Maria - 31
8) Regis - 18
9) Albertus Magnus - 12
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