CLEVELAND, Ohio – Following a pair of top-10 preseason rankings by the USILA and Inside Lacrosse, Denison men's lacrosse was voted on by the North Coast Athletic Conference coaches as the preseason favorites to win the conference in 2019.
The Big Red received eight of the nine first-place votes for a total of 80 points. Conference rival Ohio Wesleyan followed in second with 73 points and one first-place vote, while Kenyon was voted third with 58 points.
Following their third-straight appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament, the NCAC favorites are led by veteran head coach Mike Caravana, who returns eight starters from last season, including second-team USILA All-American Peter Pittroff.
During his sophomore campaign, Pittroff posted 33 goals and 74 assists, which came in as the second highest single-season assist total in school history. Helping the Big Red secure their third-straight NCAC tournament championship last season, Pittroff received the honor of North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year after the DU offense averaged 14.85 goals per game in 2018. Denison's dominance on the NCAC is recently sparked by winning six of the last eight conference championships, including four conference tournament championships since 2013.
The Big Red also return additional USILA All-Americans in seniors Jake Waxter and Henry DeCamp. In 2018, Waxter led all DU midfielders with 31 goals, 11 assists, and 42 points. DeCamp ranked eighth in Division III with a .690 win percentage (272-394) and paced the team with 152 ground balls.
Just like the 2018 season, 2019 will also feature one of the toughest schedules in program history. Denison's regular season schedule includes six teams from the USILA preseason top-20, including the season-opener when the Big Red hosts No. 12 Washington and Lee on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.