PITTSBURGH, DENVER HOLD NO. 1 SPOTS IN WCLA PRESEASON POLLS

PITTSBURGH, DENVER HOLD NO. 1 SPOTS IN WCLA PRESEASON POLLS; by Paul Ohanian, repost by Todd M. Schoenberger

Last year’s national championship runner-up Pittsburgh is ranked No. 1 in the Nike/US Lacrosse WCLA Division I Preseason Top 20, while two-time defending champion Denver holds the top spot in the Nike/US Lacrosse WCLA Division II Preseason Top 20. 

Pittsburgh finished with a 17-2 record last year and held the number one ranking in Division I for much of the regular season. As the number one seed in the 2017 WCLA Championship Tournament, Pitt advanced to the title game before falling, 13-11, to Delaware, a loss that snapped Pitt’s 11-game winning streak. Returning All-Americans Courtney Bruch and Mara Wrzeniewski will be among the leaders for the Panthers in 2018. 

Colorado State, Georgia, UCLA, and Santa Clara round out the top five in the Division I preseason poll. 

Coming off its second straight Division II championship in 2017, Denver begins the new season atop the Division II ranking. The Pioneers defeated Loyola (Md.), 9-6, in last year’s final and closed the year with a 13-game winning streak. Three returning All-Americans – Kaitlyn Ball, Sophie Smith, and Sophie Vernon – will help lead the way for Denver, which finished 14-2 overall last year.

Loyola, Concordia (Ca.), SMU, and St. Thomas round out the top five in the Division II preseason poll.  

Nike/US Lacrosse WCLA Division I Preseason Top 20

1. Pittsburgh
2. Colorado State
3. Georgia
4. UCLA
5. Santa Clara 
6. Delaware Club
7. Michigan Club
8. Virginia Club 
9. Boston College Club
10. San Diego State Club
11. North Carolina Club 
12. Brigham Young
13. Cal Poly 
14. Colorado Club 
15. Grand Canyon
16. Virginia Tech Club 
17. Central Florida 
18. James Madison Club
19. Ohio State
20. Utah 

Nike/US Lacrosse WCLA Division II Preseason Top 20

1. Denver
2. Loyola (Md.) Club     
3. Concordia (Ca.) Club
4. SMU 
5. St. Thomas 
6. Grand Valley Club    
7. Vermont Club
8. Utah State 
9. Salisbury Club 
10. Providence
11. Oakland 
12. Cornell Club 
13. St. Benedict 
14. Texas Christian    
15. Utah State 
16. Texas State
17. Iowa State
18. Washington State
19. Bethel (Ind.)
20. Portland