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2015 College Lacrosse Preview: Albany Tabbed as America East Preseason Favorite

Everyone in the America East loves the Great Danes.

Albany has won 14 straight games against America East competition, dominating the league to the tune of an average 19-11 victory over the last two seasons. The Danes have earned only two wins by fewer than three goals in that stretch, beating Stony Brook in the America East Tournament last season by a bucket and slipping past the Seawolves in the league's postseason event in 2013 with a two-goal triumph. Albany has assaulted everything in its path in recent years and the America East's clan of coaches have affirmed the Great Danes' continued potential to cause havoc in 2015, picking Albany to once again stand at the conference's strongest concern.

From the press release:

Albany Great Danes (12-6, 5-0 AE)

  • Tabbed preseason favorite for third-straight season after capturing the league title last season and reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
  • Ranked 12th in the USILA preseason poll and 11th in the Warrior Inside Lacrosse Poll.
  • Return 17 letterwinners from last year's team including Co-Tewaaraton Award winner Lyle Thompson, who set an NCAA single-season record with 128 points last year.
  • Schedule features four opponents that reached the NCAA tournament last year, including #4 Syracuse, #10 Cornell, #11 Harvard and #19 Bryant.

Here's how the voting shook out:

2015 AMERICA EAST PRESEASON POLL
PLACE TEAM FIRST-PLACE VOTES POINTS
1. Albany 6 36
2. Stony Brook 1 30
3. UMBC
23
4. Binghamton
20
5. Hartford 18
6. Vermont 12
7. Massachusetts-Lowell 8

The point totals yield an odd reality in the America East: (1) Albany is the decided favorite, earning first-place votes from every coach that isn't Scott Marr (Marr could not vote for his own team); (2) Stony Brook, even with a first-place vote, is almost as close to Albany as the Seawolves are to the mess in the middle of the league, occupying its own tier in the structure; (3) UMBC, Binghamton, and Hartford are bunched together in a five-point spread, predicted to battle for the conference's final invitations to its postseason show; and (4) Vermont and first-year program Massachusetts-Lowell are expected to take some beatings. For comparison purposes, here's how College Crosse projected the America East going into the season.