TOWSON, Md. – The Landmark Conference men's lacrosse coaches have voted and picked the Goucher College Gophers to defend their 2012 title with another championship this season.
Goucher earned five first place votes and 55 points to sit atop the poll for the third consecutive year. Drew University received the final two first place votes and 48 points to finish second in the poll. The University of Scranton was picked third with 36 points in a replica of the top three seeds from the 2012 Landmark tournament.
With three 200-point scorers having graduated, the Gophers (18-2, 6-0) will rely on defense this season. The defense will be led by preseason All-American goalkeeper Connor Mishaw and defender Bryce Carson. Brian Kelly, hired five years ago to be the top offensive assistant at Goucher, takes over this season as head coach. The Gophers advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year before falling to eventual national champion, Salisbury University.
Drew (13-4, 5-1) is coming off one of the best year's in program history, setting a new mark with 12 regular season wins and 13 wins overall. The 2012 Landmark Coach of the Year, Tom Leanos, will have five all-conference selections return to his starting lineup but will have to fill the voids left by the nation's top face-off men in Sean McGowan and two-time all-conference goaltender, Charlie DeSocio.
Former Gettysburg player and assistant coach Doug Sage takes over as head coach at Scranton (9-7, 3-3) looking to continue the work of his predecessors. The Royals welcome back 30 lettermen, including five starters, from a team that went 9-7 and qualified for the Landmark Conference tournament for the second straight season and for the fourth time in five years.
Catholic University (9-6, 3-3) and Susquehanna University (9-7, 3-3) tied for fourth in the poll with 23 points apiece. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy was picked sixth with 17 points and affiliate Landmark member, Washington & Jefferson College was picked seventh with 15 points.
The 2013 season kicks off tonight when Catholic travels to Randolph-Macon. All seven teams will be in action by February 27.
The top four teams in the final regular season standings qualify for postseason play in the Landmark Conference Tournament. The top two seeds will host semifinals May 1 with the highest remaining seed scheduled to host the championship May 4. The conference champion will earn the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
|2013 Landmark Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll|
|Rank||Institution (First Place)||Points|
|7.||Washington & Jefferson||15|