MANSFIELD, Mass.– The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College men's lacrosse team was picked to finish fourth in the Northeast-10 Conference Men's Lacrosse Coaches Poll revealed on Tuesday.
Saint Anselm racked up 94 points, trailing only Merrimack (121 pts.), Le Moyne (109 pts.) and Adelphi (99 pts.). Merrimack, the reigning NCAA Division II champions, received all but one of the first-place votes as Adelphi was tabbed to top the poll by the Warriors' coaching staff.
The Hawks were nationally-ranked in three preseason polls. Inside Lacrosse had Saint Anselm as the 11th-ranked team while USLacrosse Magazine picked the Hawks 12th in NCAA Division II. Most recently, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association had the program ranked as the 13th team in the country.
The program returns two Preseason All-America selections in senior Anthony Busconi (Watertown, Mass.) and classmate Patrick Sweeney (North Andover, Mass.), the first to win preseason plaudits since Andrew Messner '14 did so as a senior. Busconi was a First Team All-NE10 pick last season while Sweeney drew Second Team merits.
Saint Anselm wrapped up a spectacular 2018 season with an 11-5 overall record with the help of the nation's 15th-best scoring offense (12.63) and scoring defense (8.38). The squad knocked off the top team in NCAA Division II (Le Moyne) in the Northeast-10 Conference Semifinals and won its first postseason game since 2009, downing Saint Rose in the Quarterfinals.
The Saint Anselm offense churned out 202 goals on the season, a team record, and ended the season ranked 17th in NCAA Division II by the USILA. Head Coach Michael Sciamanna enters his fourth season at the helm of the Hawks men's lacrosse program and owns a 27-17 overall record.
The Hawks will open their season on Saturday, Feb. 23, taking on the eighth-ranked Pioneers from LIU Post at 2:30 p.m.
The complete poll reads as follows:
1. Merrimack - 121 (11)
2. Le Moyne - 109
3. Adelphi – 99 (1)
4. Saint Anselm - 94
5. Pace - 79
6. Bentley - 63
7. Southern N.H. - 57
8. Assumption - 56
9. Saint Rose - 51
10. Franklin Pierce - 32
11. Saint Michael's - 20
12. American International - 11