WINTHROP, Mass. – After falling at home in last year's Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title game, the Lasell University men's lacrosse team has been picked second in the 2020 GNAC preseason poll, as voted upon by the league's 10 head coaches.
Defending champion Norwich University, which upset top-seeded Lasell 8-6 in the final a year ago, was picked first in this year's poll, receiving eight first-place votes for 98 points overall. Lasell finished second with the other two first-place tallies and 92 points in the rankings. The two programs are slated to go head-to-head at Lasell on Wednesday, April 8.
Rounding out the top-five in the poll were Saint Joseph's College of Maine with 78 points, Johnson & Wales University with 62 points, and Anna Maria College with 57 points. Making up the remainder of the poll included Emmanuel College (50 points), Rivier University (47), Albertus Magnus College (25), upstart program University of Saint Joseph (23), and Regis College (18).
The Lasers will look for their second GNAC title in a four-year span when they open up on the road at MIT on Feb. 26 prior to hosting Roger Williams and Plymouth State at home the first week of March.
Lasell returns eight of its 12 All-Conference selections from last season under fifth-year head coach Bill Mason, led by First Team selection senior short-stick defensive midfielder Brendan Johnson (Plymouth, Mass.), sophomore attack James Anderson (Medway, Mass.), a Third Team selection and the 2019 GNAC Rookie of the Year, and senior defenseman and team captain Dan Gorman (Wilbraham, Mass.), who was a Third Team honoree last year and a First Team selection and GNAC Rookie of the Year in 2017.
Returning All-GNAC Second Team picks include junior attack Andrew Fidalgo (Wilbraham, Mass.), junior midfielder Colby Buccheri (Rowley, Mass.), junior face-off specialist Ben Werner (Boxford, Mass.), junior defenseman Tyler Rose (Springfield, Mass.), and sophomore goalie Alex Beauchemin (Westfield, Mass.).
With eight teams qualifying for the postseason, the 2020 GNAC Tournament commences with quarterfinal action on Saturday, April 25, followed by the semis on Wednesday, Apr. 29, and the title game (at the highest remaining seed) on Saturday, May 2.
The GNAC Champion receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.
2020 GNAC MLAX Preseason Poll
1. Norwich (8) - 98
2. Lasell (2) - 92
3. Saint Joseph's Maine - 78
4. Johnson & Wales - 62
5. Anna Maria - 57
6. Emmanuel - 50
7. Rivier - 47
8. Albertus Magnus - 25
9. St. Joseph (CT) - 23
10. Regis - 18
(Courtesy of the GNAC Office)
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