MINNEAPOLIS – After winning its MCLA-record sixth national championship last spring, St. Thomas has been named the favorite in Division II of the Upper Midwest Lacrosse Conference (UMLC), according to the preseason coaches poll.
The Tommies (11-4) grabbed three of the six first-place votes, pushing them 11 points clear of second place Minn.-Duluth (12-2).
The Bulldogs won the 2019 UMLC tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals at nationals. Duluth grabbed one first-place vote.
Grand Valley State (8-3), bolstered by a pair of first-place votes, was just a point behind Duluth in third place. The Lakers also advanced to the national quarterfinals.
North Dakota State (7-8), the 2018 MCLA Division II national champions, were slotted in fourth place. The Bison fell to fifth-ranked Dayton (12-4) in the national semifinals.
The Flyers, which lost to St. Thomas in the finals, round out the top five.
“The beauty of the UMLC is the balance and the ability of any team to beat the other,” said UMLC director Derek Daehn. “Seven of the last eight Division II national champions have come from our league, so the bar is very high.”
The 2020 UMLC tournament will be held again at the Crown Point (Ind.) Sportsplex, on the weekend of April 24-26.
2020 UMLC Division II Preseason Coaches Poll
|3.||Grand Valley State||21||2|
|4.||North Dakota State||19|
Others receiving votes: St. John's (13).