TOWSON, Md. – Elizabethtown College was chosen by the conference coaches as the preseason favorite to claim the 2016 Landmark Championship in men’s lacrosse. The Blue Jays were followed in the preseason poll by second-place Catholic, Scranton in third place, fourth-place Goucher, Susquehanna in fifth, Drew in sixth, and U.S Merchant Marine Academy in seventh.
Elizabethtown claimed a spot in the Landmark tournament last season, and are coming off the best season in program history, which included a 13-game winning streak and 14 victories, Elizabethtown will look to take the next step towards capturing its first conference title. The Blue Jays return 30 players and seven starters. Many of the returnees are impact players, led by 2015 All-Landmark First Team attackman Joe Clark. All areas of the field are filled with experience, except in the crease, where Davis Miracle (2-0, 4.54 GAA, .500 SV%) is the only returnee to have started a game last season. E-town will play a strong non-conference schedule that includes games at Dickinson, at Guilford, vs. Ursinus, at York and vs. Washington and Lee (neutral).
The reigning Landmark Conference Champions Cardinals look to defend its 2015 crown this season behind the leadership of 18-year head coach Brooks Singer. All-Landmark First Team selection Victor Licata (who scored the game-winning goal in the title game) returns for his junior season. Senior goalkeeper Harrison Holak is also back between the pipes after being selected as the Tournament MVP last season.
Scranton returns the core of a strong defensive unit, led by all-conference goalkeeper Nicholas McKaba. The Royals will use a balanced offensive attack in what is expected to be another defensive-minded club. If the offense gels and a few newcomers develop into key contributors, the Royals will be poised for another run at a conference title.
Goucher received a first-place vote, and finished with 26 total points. The Gophers missed the Landmark Conference playoffs for the first time in 2015, the Gophers will count on a strong senior class to earn a playoff spot this season.
After finishing second in the conference last season, the Susquehanna men's lacrosse team look to their projected 12 seniors, including Kade MacGregor an All-American defender, to lead the team to another top finish.
The Rangers return eight starters with good balance from the goalkeeper, through the midfield, and up to the attackers. Veteran headman Tom Leanos, entering his 33rd season at the helm, looks to senior Steven Cola (10G, 15A) and juniors Michael Lloyd (All-Conference Second Team) and Tom Cotroneo to anchor his returning class. Leanos has a penchant for developing top newcomers having guided the last two and three out of the last four Landmark Rookies of the Year. This season, the Rangers welcome Ryan D'Alessandro, an All-State, All-Conference and All-Area player from Glen Ridge High School, and Ryan Connors, an All-Conference honorable mention from Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
The Mariners are looking to return to the Landmark Tournament for the first time since 2013, but will have to do so without 2015 Landmark Player of the Year Geoff Harty. They're returning two sophomores at attack that will look to continue their impressive careers thus far, as well as one of the nation's top face-off specialists in Chris Whitenack.
|2016 Landmark Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll|
|Rank||Institution (First Place)||Points||Preview|