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WINTHROP, Mass. – Emmanuel College has been ranked atop the 2016 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll, as voted upon by the league's nine head coaches. The GNAC office made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon.

The Saints, who will be seeking their third consecutive GNAC Championship this spring, received seven of a possible 10 first-place votes in the poll for 78 points, 18 points clear of Johnson & Wales University and Lasell College, both of which tied for second place with 62 points apiece.

Emmanuel went a perfect 8-0 in GNAC play before downing Lasell in the GNAC Semifinals and Mount Ida College, 13-6, in the conference title game. The Saints' season came to a close at 13-5 overall following its NCAA Tournament first-round loss to eventual Division III national champion Tufts.

Johnson & Wales received one first-place vote in its second-place tie with Lasell, while Mount Ida finished fourth in the poll with 58 points, followed by Norwich University in the fifth spot with 54 points and one first-place vote.

Rounding out the poll was Rivier University with 35 points, Saint Joseph's College of Maine with 25 points, Albertus Magnus College with 19 points and Anna Maria College with 12 points.

The 2016 GNAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament is scheduled to begin with first-round action on May 4, followed by the semifinals on May 6 and the championship on May 8.

Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 12 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 17 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement. 

2016 GNAC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Emmanuel (7) - 78
T2. Johnson & Wales (1) - 62
T2. Lasell - 62
4. Mount Ida - 58
5. Norwich (1) - 54 
6. Rivier - 35
7. Saint Joseph's Maine - 25
8. Albertus Magnus - 19
9. Anna Maria - 12