FOREST, Va. --- The first five teams are the same but there is a bit of a shuffle to the order at the top of the 2019 ODAC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll with Washington and Lee University leading the annual coaches' survey. The Generals collected a chart-topping 96 points powered by seven first place votes. Defending champion University of Lynchburg sits second with 91 points and three top nods. Roanoke College received the remaining first place vote on the way to 86 markers to rank third.
Hampden-Sydney College, last season's top-ranked team in the preseason poll following its championship run in 2017, holds the fourth position with 73 points. Randolph-Macon College rounds out the top-five with 64 tallies.
The 2018 ODAC Tournament featured plenty of shake-up when compared to seeding position. Fourth-seeded Lynchburg used a 24-6 result over Randolph-Macon in the quarterfinals to setup a semifinal showdown with top-seeded Washington and Lee in Lexington. The Hornets registered nine second-half goals on the way to an 11-8 triumph. On the other side of the bracket, third-seeded Roanoke topped Bridgewater College, 11-5, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals against #2 Hampden-Sydney, the Maroons built a 9-2 halftime advantage on the way to a 14-8 win.
Lynchburg and Roanoke played even in the first half of the title game on Wilson Field, heading to the break at 5-all. The Hornets tilted the table in the second frame, scoring eight goals and shutting out the Maroons in the fourth quarter on the way to a 13-8 victory. The win marked the seventh title in program history and first since winning two straight in 2014 and 2015.
RELATED: 2018 ODAC Tournament Bracket
The season continued for three ODAC schools in the NCAA Tournament. Lynchburg and Roanoke both experienced first round losses. The Hornets dropped a 16-12 decision at Dickinson College, while the Maroons fell to Christopher Newport, 17-11, in Salem.
Washington and Lee played twice and nearly reached a third contest on the national stage. The Generals opened with a 23-5 home triumph over Transylvania to setup a second round date at Dickinson. The Generals trailed 5-3 at the half and 6-4 after three quarters, but used a five-goal spurt in the fourth against three Red Devil tallies to force overtime. Dickinson scored the game-decider with 3:34 left in OT to secure the win.
RELATED: 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament Bracket
As has become customary, ODAC teams are well-represented in a variety of 2019 preseason polls and publications. The USILA, which now runs its coaches poll thru sponsors Warrior and New Balance, features three ODAC schools in its annual preseason top-20 chart. W&L leads the list at #12, while Roanoke sits 15th and Lynchburg 20th.
The same three teams appear in the top-20 poll published by US Lacrosse Magazine. The Generals chime in eighth with the Maroons tabbed 14th and the Hornets slotted 17th.
Inside Lacrosse, thru its annual Face-Off Yearbook feature, publishes a top-20 media poll as well as a preseason All-American listing. Washington and Lee again leads the ODAC contingent as the 10th-ranked squad, while Lynchburg sits 16th and Roanoke 18th.
Nine total ODAC athletes earned preseason recognition in the Face-Off Yearbook. W&L's A.J. Witherell, the reigning two-time ODAC Player of the Year, and Roanoke goalkeeper Ian Davies earned spots on the first team. Lynchburg's Seamus McDonald was tabbed to the second team at long-stick midfield, while fellow Hornet Nick Willertz was the third team choice at short-stick defensive midfield. The remaining individuals earned honorable mention distinction -- Roanoke attackman Jason Sarro, Lynchburg attackman Evan Lombardo, Virginia Wesleyan College long-stick Tyler Conn, and midfielder Hudson Hamill and face-off man Jack Hodgson.
RELATED: USILA/Warrior and New Balance Preseason Poll | US Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top-20
RELATED: Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Rankings | Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-Americans
Entering the 2019 campaign, exactly half of last season's All-ODAC honorees appear on rosters with 24-of-48 award winners listed. Lynchburg leads all schools with eight of its 10 honorees back for another season. In addition to Lombardo, McDonald, and Willertz, defenseman Matt Meadows was an All-ODAC First Team choice. Kevin Rogers earned second team recognition in the midfield, while attackman Logan Adams, face-off specialist Craig Koester, and defenseman Tyler Gallagher were third team selections.
Six All-ODAC standouts return to Lexington. Hamill, Hodgson, and Witherell were all first team picks last year. Midfielder Jed Londrey and defenseman John Broderick were second team selections, while long-stick Drew Barnard earned third team laurels.
Roanoke's four returners are led by first teamers Sarro and Davies. Tim Aldinger was the second team long-stick choice, while Brendan Devane picked up third team honors in the midfield.
Hampden-Sydney and Shenandoah University each feature two all-conference returners. The Tigers welcome back midfielder John Burke and defenseman Canevin Wallace from the third team, while the Hornets look to second team midfielder Michael Brooks and third team attackman Ryan Schott.
The remaining to All-ODAC returning athletes don Randolph College and Randolph-Macon jerseys. The WildCats feature third team midfielder Prince Charles, while the Yellow Jackets welcome back third team attackman Ryan Tiffey.
RELATED: 2018 All-ODAC Men's Lacrosse Awards
The 2019 season begins with non-conference play on Saturday, February 9. The first set of ODAC contests are slated for Saturday, March 9. The conference tournament begins with quarterfinal action on Tuesday, April 30. The semifinals and finals will be hosted by the top seed on Friday and Saturday, May 3-4.
Listed below is the complete 2019 ODAC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Pol. For more information on ODAC men's lacrosse, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
|2019 ODAC MEN'S LACROSSE PRESEASON POLL|
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|
|1. Washington and Lee University (7)||96 pts.|
|2. University of Lynchburg (3)||91 pts.|
|3. Roanoke College (1)||86 pts.|
|4. Hampden-Sydney College||73 pts.|
|5. Randolph-Macon College||64 pts.|
|6. Bridgewater College||49 pts.|
|7. Shenandoah University||46 pts.|
|8. Guilford College||42 pts.|
|9. Virginia Wesleyan University||28 pts.|
|10. Ferrum College||16 pts.|
|11. Randolph College||14 pts.|