TOWSON, Md. – The Landmark men's lacrosse coaches have picked two-time Landmark champions, Goucher College, to win the 2014 title. The Gophers finished as the No. 1 seed in the Landmark tournament a year ago, but came up short in their bid for back-to-back titles.
Goucher was picked first in the poll with three first place votes and 42 points. Defending champion, Susquehanna University, was picked second with two first place votes and 37 points. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy received one first place vote and 35 points while the University of Scranton was picked fourth with 34 points.
Goucher (8-8, 6-0) has claimed Landmark championships in 2010 and 2012, the only men's lacrosse team to boast multiple titles. The Gophers return two First Team All-Landmark players in senior Pierce Ingram and junior Tristan Morris. Ingram led Goucher with 36 points last year on 26 goals and 10 assists. Morris won a conference-high 139 face-offs. The key for Goucher will be identifying who takes over in goal for Connor Mishaw, the starting goalkeeper the past three seasons.
The 2013 Susquehanna (12-7, 4-2) men's lacrosse team went from the No. 3 seed in the Landmark Conference Tournament to conference champions with a win over No. 4 seed USMMA in the title game. The team lost several key players from that championship team, particularly at midfield and defense, but returns leading scorer and All-Conference player Austen Lein for 2014. Jared Knowlton is the returning goalie with the most game experience with eight appearances and four starts a year ago.
The Mariners (9-8, 3-3) are looking to improve upon last season's fourth place finish in the Landmark Conference. USMMA upset top-seeded Goucher in the 2013 semifinals en route to its second-ever Landmark Conference championship game.
Scranton (8-7, 4-1) returns two All-Landmark players in Mike Deliberti and Matt Finor. The Royals will have to do without All-American Tim Cleary and last year's leading scorers Taylor Nelson and Dillon McInerney, but senior John Gregitis is back after notching 18 points a year ago.
Drew University (4-10, 2-4) was picked fifth in the poll with 30 points and the final first place vote. Catholic University (6-9, 1-4) was picked sixth with 24 points and Washington & Jefferson wrapped up the poll in seventh with 15 points.
The 2014 season kicks off tonight when Catholic hosts Southern Virginia at 6:00 p.m. All seven teams will be in action by Feb. 26.
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 Apr. 30 with the highest remaining seed scheduled to host the championship May 3. The conference champion will earn the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
|2014 Landmark Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll|
|Rank||Institution (First Place)||Points|
|3.||Merchant Marine (1)||35|
|7.||Washington & Jefferson||15|