TOWSON, Md. – The Landmark Conference men's lacrosse coaches voted and picked Catholic University for the top spot in 2018.
Catholic earned two first-place votes and 46 points to earn the top spot. The 2017 conference champion Elizabethtown College earned two first-place nods and 41 points for second. The University Scranton was picked third with 38 points and two first-place votes. Drew University rounds out the top half of the poll with 32 points and the last first-place vote.
The Cardinals are coming off their best regular season record in program history (13-2) and received votes in the USILA / Nike Top-20 poll for the first time ever, staying in the poll for eight weeks in 2017. Catholic returns 30 players and eight starters from last year's squad, including All-America hopeful Bennett Bradley, the conference's leading scorer last year. Four All-Landmark players and both goalies are back for head coach Brooks Singer, who has led the Cards to the last three Landmark Conference Championship games.
Elizabethtown will have a very different look from last year's Landmark championship-winning team after graduating its top seven scorers and seeing more than 91% of its offense depart. The Blue Jays still possess plenty of strength on defense, where they return All-Landmark First Team and IMLCA All-South Region Second Team junior Jeremy Klipple and fellow starters Zac Knapp and Kyle Coats. Sophomore Tom Mahoney is once again expected to anchor E-town in goal. As a rookie, he posted a league-high 10 wins and a 7.88 goals against average in 12 starts. All-Americans Joe Clark and Mike Specht have graduated, along with Nick Specht and 20-goal scorers Phil Kyger and Jason Clough. The Blue Jays will have to rely on new faces, including sophomore Mike Scrafano (7 G, 1 A, 8 PTS in 2017) to supply the goals.
Scranton will be guided by first-year head coach Michael Hofmeister. The Royals lost two key players and all-conference performers in defenseman Sean Ebert and midfielder Patrick Sawyer, to graduation. However, Scranton returns eight starters from last year's tournament team, including IMLCA All-American Honorable Mention selection and All-Landmark First Team performer Adam Drury. Matt Carfaro, Conor Carey, and Connor Kirkwood also return to the roster this season.
Drew will also be guided by a new head coach. Doug Sage, former Scranton men's lacrosse coach, will take the reins after longtime coach Tom Leanos retired after the 2017 season. The Rangers, who earned a berth to the conference tournament last year, returns five key players to the 2018 roster.
Goucher College was picked fifth in the poll with 18 points and Susquehanna University was selected sixth with 14 points. Moravian College rounds out the poll in seventh with seven points.
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 2 with the highest remaining seed scheduled to host the championship May 5. The conference champion will earn the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
|2018 Landmark Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll|
|Rank||Institution (First Place)||Points|