CLEVELAND, Ohio – The 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released on Wednesday (Feb. 6) and Denison was tabbed as the favorite based on balloting from the league’s coaches.
The Big Red, who are the three-time defending NCAC tournament champions, earned eight of the nine first-place votes to top the poll with 80 points, while defending NCAC champion, Ohio Wesleyan finished second, earning the final first-place vote and 73 total points. Kenyon checked in at third with 58 points, followed by Wittenberg (47) in fourth and DePauw (46) in fifth. Rounding out the nine-team field were Wooster (43), Oberlin (29), Hiram (17) and Wabash (11).
Denison heads into the 2019 season ranked No. 9 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) NCAA Division III national rankings. The Big Red finished last season with a 16-4 overall record and a 7-1 mark in conference play. The team returns NCAC Offensive Player of the Year and All-NCAC first-team attacker, Peter Pittroff (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day). He is joined by fellow All-NCAC first-team attacker, Spencer Butler (Essex Falls, N.J./Millbrook). The Big Red midfield is anchored by all-conference first-teamer Jake Waxter (Baltimore, Md./Gilman). Denison also brings back NCAC Specialist of the Year, Henry DeCamp (Washington D.C./Deerfield Academy).
Ohio Wesleyan leads all NCAC teams with 20 championships in 34 years. Denison, which has won at least a share of six of the last eight league titles, follows OWU with 17 all-time, while Wittenberg has two and Kenyon and Wooster each boast one championship. The NCAC has had tri-champions on three separate occasions, first in 2000 when the Big Red, Bishops and Lords shared the title, then in 2004, when Denison, OWU and Wooster each had a piece of the crown, only to have it happen again in 2011 with Denison, Wittenberg and Ohio Wesleyan sharing the top spot. The conference also saw Ohio Wesleyan and Wittenberg share the conference crown in 2010.
Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, DePauw University, Denison University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.
2019 North Coast Athletic Conference
|2.||Ohio Wesleyan (1)||73|