Men's Lacrosse Slotted at Top of 2019 NAC Preseason Poll for First-Time in Program History

Men's Lacrosse Slotted at Top of 2019 NAC Preseason Poll for First-Time in Program History

WATERVILLE, Maine - Husson received five first-place votes and 47 points to earn the top spot in the 2019 NAC men's lacrosse preseason coaches poll. SUNY Canton received the remaining two first-place votes and 43 points for second place, and Maine Maritime Academy sits in third with 33 points.

Thomas (23), Northern Vermont-Lyndon (21), and SUNY Delhi (19) are tightly grouped in the four, five, and six spots, respectively. Northern Vermont-Johnson completes the poll with 10 points. North Atlantic Conference head men's lacrosse coaches vote in the preseason poll.

Husson, Maine Maritime, Thomas and NVU-Lyndon earned spots in the 2018 NAC tournament quarterfinal games, with Husson and NVU-Lyndon advancing to the semifinal round. After earning byes in the quarterfinal round, No. 2 Castleton bested Husson, and No. 1 New England College also advanced to the championship after beating NVU-Lyndon in semifinal games. New England College won the 2018 NAC Men's Lacrosse Championship with a 12-7 win over Castleton.

Castleton received the automatic qualification bid to the 2018 NCAA DIII men's lacrosse tournament, and earned their first-ever NCAA win (10-9) in overtime against Albion before falling to RIT in the second round.

The NAC welcomes SUNY Canton and SUNY Delhi to the mix this year, and with the exit of Castleton and New England College, the playoff picture is sure to be different in 2019. Additionally, the NAC and New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) announced a partnership this fall to conduct a combined championship in 2019. The top two teams from each conference will face off (No. 1 NAC vs. No. 2 NECC / No.1 NECC vs. No. 2 NAC) in semifinal games on Saturday, April 27. The winners from those two games will meet for the NAC championship and the automatic qualification spot for the NCAA tournament on Saturday, May 4. The top two seeds are determined by each conference, both choosing regular season standings to determine the highest seeds in 2019.

Early season games are underway, and conference games begin on March 16. Click HERE to view the 2019 NAC Men's Lacrosse composite schedule.

2019 Men's Lacrosse Season Preview

Click the school name to be directed to the team website.

 

1. Husson - 47 (5 first-place votes)

Husson (6-8, 5-2 NAC) fourth-year head coach Mike Craig looks to return to the NAC Tournament in 2019 with the majority of his squad (22 players) returning and eight new Eagles joining the team. The team will be led by five captains including three 2018 All-NAC Second Team selections in seniors Zach Glazier (Winthrop, Maine), Chad Merrill (Sabattus, Maine), and Matt Martin (Litchfield, Maine). Senior Zach Gosselin (Lewiston, Maine) and junior Matt Verrill (Auburn, Maine) are also 2019 captains. Returning attackmen and midfielders sophomore Gunner McAllister (Albion, Maine), senior Adam Littlefield (Fairfield, Maine), junior Blane Miller (Bowdoinham, Maine), and sophomore Jaden Wells (Saco, Maine) are also expected to contribute on the field.

 

2. SUNY Canton - 43 (2 first-place votes)

Head Coach Pat Harrington returns for his 10th season at the helm for the Roos following an NCAA DIII school record 11-6 mark during the 2018 season. The team qualified for its second ECAC Tournament in program history and also earned its first win versus local rival SUNY Potsdam. The Roos return Josh Yelvington (Carthage, N.Y.) and Dante Coco (Bristol, Conn.) who posted 49 and 44 points, respectively, a season ago. Andrew Garrett (Newark, N.Y.) and Brad Sandroni (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) also provided double-digit points in 2018 at 33 and 16, respectively. Coach Harrington expects several freshmen to make an immediate impact from face-off to goalie, including face-off specialist Noel Abreu (Manhattan, N.Y.), defenseman Blaze Benedict (Akwesasne, N.Y.), attack Hunter Olsen (Webster, N.Y.), midfielders Noah Robinson (Mississauga, Ontario), and Eli Kocsis (Brasher Falls, N.Y.), defensive midfielder Jordan Amezquita (Oceanside, N.Y.), and goalie Parker Hornung (Brasher Falls, N.Y.).

3. Maine Maritime - 33

James Dillon returns for his second season at the helm for the Mariners. After losing only three players to graduation, Maine Maritime Academy (4-8, 4-3 NAC) welcomes back a talented and seasoned group of returners, including junior Nathan Granholm (Brunswick, Maine) who was named to the 2018 NAC First-Team. The squad also welcomes a talented group of freshmen, and are looking forward to making another NAC Tournament appearance.

4. Thomas - 23

Thomas (2-9, 2-5 NAC) head coach Marsh Gray returns for his fourth season with the Terriers. Junior Johnathan Wilcox (Palmyra, Maine) will lead the attacking end, while sophomore Christian Descoteaux (Waterboro, Maine) will anchor the defensive unit. Gray will also turn to senior defenseman Jarrod Leonardi (Thomaston, Maine), sophomore LSM Duncan McDougal (Hartland, Maine) and freshman attacker Daniel MacWhinnie (Lanesborough, Mass.) to contribute. Thomas aims to return to the NAC Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

5. NVU-Lyndon - 21

NVU-Lyndon (7-9, 3-4 NAC) will be led by first year head coach Brandon Melville. The Hornets continue to build a program with a blend of experienced returners and talented newcomers. Top returners include midfielder Shea Jones (Hull, Mass.), who enters the season with 147 career points, and within reach of becoming Lyndon's first ever 200-point scorer. Senior Attack Spencer Aubin (Sharon, Mass.) starts the season with 75 career goals, and defenseman Brandon Hunter (Glastonbury, Conn.) starts his senior campaign with 165 career ground balls and 79 career caused turnovers. Two freshman goalies, Aaron Florence (Mandeville, La.) and Camden LeClair (Colcester, Vt.), head the crop of newcomers.

6. SUNY Delhi - 19

Under third-year head coach Sam Miller, the Broncos are excited for their inaugural year in NCAA DIII. SUNY Delhi (4-10) returns two 2018 All-Conference selections in junior defender Antonio Russo (Oneonta, N.Y.), and senior midfielder and team-leading scorer Malik Talbert (Valley Stream, N.Y.). The two were selected as team captains, along with juniors Brandon Katz (Commack, N.Y.) and Jacob Nygard (Lake Grove, N.Y.), and look to make a big impression on the NAC.

7. NVU-Johnson - 10

Steven Foote enters his second season at the helm of the Northern Vermont University-Johnson (0-10, 0-7) men's lacrosse team. The Badgers bring twelve new faces to the roster and look to improve from the 2018 season. Returning Junior Goalkeeper Patrick Bell (Charlestown, R.I.) and senior defensemen Austin Walters (Grantham, N.H.) will hold down the defensive end for the Badgers, while returning sophomore Kyle Picard (Hyde Park, Vt.) leads the attack.