SAINT LEO, Fla. â€“ Looking toward another year of impressive showings from his team, head coach Brad Jorgensen will begin his sixth season leading the 12th-ranked Saint Leo menâ€™s lacrosse team in the preseason poll announced by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) on Monday afternoon.
After a ninth-place preseason pick in 2010, the retooled Lions, with 22 new faces, sit just outside the top-10 this year.Â The Lions, who racked up 19 votes, were chosen to finish behind archrival Limestone (4th) and fellow Deep South Conference school Mars Hill (9th).
â€œWe are thankful to be in the rankings at this point of the season and look forward to a huge conference game this weekend,â€ said Jorgensen.Â â€œOur young team needs to earn their place in the national rankings and the first step is this weekend.â€
Following a tremendous 2010 campaign in which SLU finished 12-3 overall, claiming the programâ€™s first regular season title and their second-straight Deep South Conference Tournament Championship, the Lions again missed out on an NCAA bid after losses to Queens (NC) and Limestone.Â The squad will return five starters from last yearâ€™s team, including All-America face-off specialist Mike DelBuono and midfielder Jake McGuiness.
In a carbon-copy of the 2010 preseason poll, both the defending National Champions C.W. Post and runner-up LeMoyne College are ranked preseason No. 1 and No. 2.Â Mercyhurst College comes in third place, while Limestone and New York Tech round out the top-five.
The Lions open up the season with a Deep South Conference tilt against Rollins College on Saturday, February 19th from Winter Park, Fla.
Click here for the entire Division II USILA Preseason Poll.