CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has released its 2019 men's lacrosse preseason coaches poll, with the Cortland Red Dragons voted at No.1 with 36 points. Plattsburgh was voted No. 2 with 29 points, and Geneseo comes in the third spot with 25 points.
Cortland hopes for another conference championship after winning the SUNYAC title in 2018 against Plattsburgh. The program has now won 16 conference titles since 2000. The Red Dragons vied for a national title in last year's NCAA DIII Tournament, but fell short in the second round after falling to nationally fifth-ranked Wesleyan. Cortland finished the season 12-7, tied at 17th in the national rankings. Last year's Cortland team included seven players with SUNYAC All-Conference honors Head coach Steve Beville, who returns for his 13th season with Cortland, was the 2018 Paul Rose Coach of the Year. Beville earned his 200th career win with the Red Dragons last season, and has helped lead Cortland to 10 conference titles as head coach. He has also led the Red Dragons to the NCAA Division III championship game four times, with a national title victory in 2009, and also guided Cortland to the national semifinals in both 2013 and 2010, the quarterfinals in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017, and the second round in 2016 and 2018. The Red Dragons' 26 SUNYAC titles are the most among all other men's lacrosse programs in the conference.
After losing to Cortland in the 2018 SUNYAC title game, the Plattsburgh Cardinals hope 2019 is the year they'll return to championship form. After being crowned conference champions in 2017 following their defeat of Cortland in that season's conference championship, Plattsburgh couldn't repeat the same success in last year's title match, losing to the Red Dragons 22-12. The Cardinals finished the regular season 7-9 overall, and were 5-1 in conference play. The 2018 Cardinals team featured eight players with SUNYAC All-Conference honors, including Ryan Hubbard, last year's senior who was also recognized as the Offensive Player of the Year. Head coach Joe May enters his fourth season with Plattsburgh. Under his leadership, Plattsburgh has established themselves as a competitive force in the conference. The programs' 2017 SUNYAC title was its first ever.
After sitting out last year's SUNYAC Tournament, the Geneseo men's lacrosse team hopes to find itself back in the tournament bracket this season. The Knights just missed securing the last spot in the conference tournament to Oswego, and finished the season 7-7 along with a 2-4 record in conference play. Despite their finish, Geneseo's prowess produced three players who received SUNYAC All-Conference honors. Geneseo junior defenseman Jack Crowley was also named to the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) Division III All-East Region squad. Head coach Nick Fiorentino returns at the helm for his third season, hoping to land the Knights their first conference title since 2007. The program has won the SUNYAC title three times.
2019 SUNYAC Preseason Poll
1. Cortland - 36
2. Plattsburgh - 29
3. Geneseo - 25
4. Oswego - 23
5. Brockport - 17
6. Oneonta - 11
7. Potsdam - 6