The Patriot League is one of the best conferences in division one lacrosse. With the likes of Loyola competing every year and historic talent out of Colgate and Army in the past, there’s some of the best competition the division has to offer.
Last season was a wild year, with Loyola emerging as the biggest threat, and it looks like the Greyhounds are final four material yet again. But, the rest of the conference picture remains hazy.
Navy remains the odds on favorite as the second ranked team in the PL, but the loss of Casey Rees softens their threat as a potential deep playoff run team. Younger teams such as Boston University and Holy Cross show a lot of promise, while Army and Bucknell are darkhorses in the national conversation.
The pre season coaches poll, as revealed by Inside Lacrosse, is the following:
5T Boston U
8 Holy Cross
Loyola being the obvious favorite and Lafayette in the cellar are possibly the only sure things in the conference. Navy at second is reasonable, as is Army and Bucknell, in whatever order, as second or third.
The three way tie for fifth place becomes interesting.
Boston University has been a game shy of the post season for two straight years, so it makes sense to have questions about how far the team can go. A slight edge over Holy Cross could be reasonable.
However, it appears the Terriers have at the least eclipsed Lehigh and maybe even Colgate for that fifth slot, and Holy Cross may also have more upside than Colgate.
The Mountain Hawks went 6-9 this season, and while their schedule does include the likes of North Carolina and Stony Brook, they start out the year with NJIT and Jacksonville. Part of the hesitance on BU could be due to a tough start to the season with four road contests, including at Navy, where their early season record could be affected.
Colgate last season went 4-10 and has lost to BU for two seasons in a row, making their ranking more puzzling. They also have lost to Lehigh in the past two seasons. Out of the three, Colgate has on paper the easiest schedule, at least to start the year.
The pre season all conference is the usual suspects, led by Tewaaraton favorite Pat Spencer of Loyola and followed by the likes of Army’s Cole Johnson, BU’s Sam Talkow, and Bucknell’s Will Sands. Christian Klipstein, now a sophomore with the Bison, is the pre season top goalie.
Talkow as the FOGO says a lot in what might be the best faceoff conference in the nation. Loyola and BU are tied with the most represents at three, while Navy’s Rees being out leaves them with two in Matt Rees and Chris Fennell. Lehigh and Colgate do not have any represent.