The Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team, which ended last year’s storybook season by securing the program’s first national championship, was chosen to defend its Northeast-10 Conference title, according to the league’s preseason coaches’ poll that was unveiled on Tuesday.
Merrimack tallied 11-of-12 first-place votes from the league’s head coaches, earning preseason favorite status in the 12-team conference.
The Warriors, coming off a school-record 18-win campaign that featured a league tournament crown and a dominant run to the NCAA title, garnered 121 total points in the poll, edging Le Moyne (109 points) and Adelphi (99 points, one first-place vote) for the top spot. Merrimack defeated Saint Leo last May at Gillette Stadium to become the second NE10 team to win a national championship in the past three seasons (Le Moyne in 2016).
In addition to the NCAA championship, Merrimack captured the NE10 crown with a victory over Saint Anselm – earning its first league title since 2010.
NE10 runner-up Saint Anselm took fourth place with 94 points, keeping it crowded at the top of the poll in a very talented league. Pace (79) and Bentley (63) rounded-out the upper half of the voting results in fifth and sixth place to account for, what would be, the six league tournament spots should the standings fall in that order.
Merrimack’s title defense begins against a familiar foe on Saturday, Feb. 23, as the Warriors play host to No. 7 NYIT in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round matchup at Duane Stadium (1 p.m.).
The NE10 Men’s Lacrosse Championship is slated to begin on April 27 with the quarterfinal round, followed by the semifinals on April 30 and the championship game on May 4.
2019 NE10 Men’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Poll
1. Merrimack – 121 (11)
2. Le Moyne – 109
3. Adelphi – 99 (1)
4. Saint Anselm – 94
5. Pace – 79
6. Bentley – 63
7. So. New Hampshire – 57
8. Assumption – 56
9. Saint Rose – 51
10. Franklin Pierce – 32
11. Saint Michael’s – 20
12. American International – 11