PAWTUCKET, R.I. - The four-time defending conference champion Keene State men's lacrosse program was chosen as the unanimous favorite to finish first in the Little East Conference (LEC) preseason poll for the ninth time in history, it was announced today.
Keene State, the 2017 LEC regular season and tournament champion, finished with 49 points and seven first place votes, followed by Eastern Connecticut State and UMass Boston, who tied for second place with 36 points apiece.
The Owls welcome back multiple All-Conference selections, including First Team All-LEC honorees senior attack Hunter Arnold and junior long stick Steve Hamel. During the 2017 season, Arnold scored a team second-best 50 goals and added 22 assists, while Hamel earned a team second-best 56 ground balls with 27 caused turnovers. Keene State also returns Second Team All-LEC selections in senior midfielder Paul Beling (17 goals, 14 assists) and sophomore short stick Connor Nolan (6 goals, 3 assists, 23 ground balls).
Head Coach Mark Theriault returns for his 19th season, as Keene State looks to extend their 40-game consecutive win streak against LEC opponents, with their last conference loss occurring in 2012. Theriault and the Owls will also take on a strong non-conference schedule, including preseason nationally-ranked Tufts and Bates.
Keene State opens up the 2018 season with a home contest on February 24th against RPI at 1:00 p.m.
2018 LEC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Institution||First Place Votes||Points|
|1. Keene State||7||49|
|T2. Eastern Connecticut State||36|
|4. Western Connecticut State||1||32|
|5. Plymouth State||27|
|6. Southern Maine||22|
|7. UMass Dartmouth||14|
|8. Salem State||8|