Men's lacrosse ranked sixth in opening Nike/US Lacrosse poll

Men's lacrosse ranked sixth in opening Nike/US Lacrosse poll

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — The defending East Coast Conference champion NYIT men's lacrosse team has some lofty expectations again in 2018.

The Bears are ranked sixth in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division II Preseason Top 20 poll.

The poll, released Thursday, has two other East Coast Conference teams represented: Mercy (14th) and LIU Post (20th).

Defending champion Limestone is ranked No. 1.

The Bears finished last season 14-3 overall and 8-0 in the ECC. However, NYIT was left out of the NCAA Tournament, which should provide motivation for the current group.

NYIT began regular-season practices on Wednesday.

The season opener is Feb. 10 against No. 13 Mercyhurst at President's Stadium.

No. 2 Merrimack, No. 5 Pace, No. 7 Tampa and No. 10 Seton Hill also appear on the nonconference schedule.

"Nothing has really changed," coach Bill Dunn said. "Year in and year out, our first goal is to win the ECC championship and, then, to make the NCAA Tournament."