Forest, Va. -- Fresh off a trip to the Elite 8 a season ago, the Lynchburg College men's lacrosse team was picked second in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's preseason poll by the league's coaches, the ODAC announced Friday.
Lynchburg, the six-time conference champions, received two of the 10 first-place votes in the ballot and totaled 72 points. Defending ODAC champion Hampden-Sydney was tabbed the league favorite with 77 points and seven first-place nods, while third-picked Washington and Lee received the other top choice.
The 2018 iteration of the Hornets returns a strong corps led by five all-conference returnees. Junior attackman Evan Lombardo (Franklin Park, N.J.) and junior long-stick midfielder Seamus McDonald (Far Hills, N.J.) come back from first-team selections and are joined by one second-teamer in junior midfielder Nick Willertz (Severn, Md.) and a pair of third-team picks, junior attackman Andrew Thomas (Roswell, Ga.) and sophomore defender Tyler Gallagher (Palmyra, Pa.). Several other key returners will be featured in the lineup with another solid freshman class ready to contribute.
The Hornets went 15-7 last season and 8-1 in ODAC play. The team won two NCAA Division III tournament contests to reach the national quarterfinals for the third time in program history.
Lynchburg played one of the nation's strongest schedules in 2017 and is poised to do the same this year, with nine opponents ranked in preseason national polls; those same nine teams all appeared in last season's NCAA Division III tournament. That tough slate starts off with a date at defending national champion Salisbury on Saturday, Feb. 10 after a Feb. 3 scrimmage at the University of Virginia.
2018 ODAC MEN'S LACROSSE PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Hampden-Sydney College (7) 77 pts.
2. Lynchburg College (2) 72 pts.
3. Washington and Lee University (1) 64 pts.
4. Roanoke College 63 pts.
5. Randolph-Macon College 47 pts.
6. Guilford College 37 pts.
7. Bridgewater College 31 pts.
8. Shenandoah University 30 pts.
9. Virginia Wesleyan University 19 pts.
10. Randolph College 10 pts.