CLEVELAND, Ohio – Following a No. 4 ranking by the USILA/Nike Lacrosse Division III Preseason Men's Coaches Poll, Denison men's lacrosse was voted on by the North Coast Athletic Conference coaches as the unanimous conference favorites for the 2018 season.
The Big Red received all nine first-place votes for a total of 80 points, while Ohio Wesleyan University trailed with 70 points in second place, and Wittenberg University followed in third with 64 points.
Denison enters the season as NCAC favorites following a trip to the NCAA Division III semifinals in 2017, their third in school history and first since 2001, where they finished 18-2 overall and 8-0 in the conference.
The Big Red return a pair of All-Americans in 2018, headlined by senior defender Ben Duhoski and junior midfielder Jake Waxter. Following a season where he was also named NCAC Defensive Player of the Year and helped the DU defense allow only 7.1 goals per game, Duhoski enters the year on the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's Division III Player of the Year Watchlist after causing 34 turnovers and gathering 51 ground balls in 2017.
DU will also bring back junior attack Spencer Butler, who contributed 65 goals to Denison's 358 total goals from a season ago, setting a new NCAC scoring record in 20 games played.
Entering the season with a top-five ranking also comes with one of the toughest schedules in program history. Denison's regular season schedule currently features five teams from the USILA preseason top-20, including the season-opener at No. 20 Washington and Lee on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m.