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MEN'S LACROSSE TOPS GNAC PRE-SEASON COACHES' POLL

The Saints quest for a fourth consecutive GNAC title begins on Saturday, Feb. 18 when they open the 2017 campaign at Salve Regina
The Saints quest for a fourth consecutive GNAC title begins on Saturday, Feb. 18 when they open the 2017 campaign at Salve Regina

WINTHROP, Mass. – Emmanuel College has topped the 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll, as voted upon by the league's nine head coaches. The three-time defending league champion Saints received six first-place votes and 73 points overall to take first place in the ledger.

Lasell College was a close second in the coaches' poll, tallying 70 points. For the complete results, please see below. 

Emmanuel will get its 2017 campaign underway this Saturday on the road at Salve Regina, while Lasell will open things up on Saturday, February 25 at Coast Guard. The two programs matched up last spring in the GNAC Championship contest, with the Saints pulling out a thrilling 14-13 triumph in Boston over the Lasers.

Norwich University received one first-place nod and 63 points in the poll to take third place, while Johnson & Wales University (RI) and Mount Ida College rounded out the top-five with 52 and 51 points, respectively. Mount Ida also collected a pair of first-place votes.

Both Norwich and JWU appeared in the GNAC Tournament semifinals a year ago.

Rivier University finished sixth with 39 points, while Saint Joseph's College of Maine collected 24 points. Albertus Magnus College had 19 points and Anna Maria College finished with 14 points.

The 2017 GNAC Tournament will feature the top-six seeds, with the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receiving byes into the semifinals. The GNAC Championship is slated for Saturday, May 6 at the highest remaining seed, with an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament at stake. 

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. 

2017 GNAC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Emmanuel (6) - 73
2. Lasell - 70
3. Norwich (1) - 63
4. Johnson & Wales - 52
5. Mount Ida (2) - 51
6. Rivier - 39
7. Saint Joseph's of Maine - 24
8. Albertus Magnus - 19 
9. Anna Maria - 14 

*Release courtesy of GNAC Athletic Communications