Albion College, the four-time Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Men's Lacrosse Tournament champion, and boasting a 34-1 record against MIAA rivals over the last four years, enters the season on the hunt. In the pre-season poll of the league coaches released Wednesday afternoon, Albion received just two first place votes, and was picked to finish in second place behind Hope College, the 2018 MIAA regular season champion.
Albion, 10-8 a year ago, will build the 2019 squad around goalkeeper Trevor McManus, an all-MIAA first team pick after the Britons surrendered the second-fewest goals (37) in the seven contests against league rivals, and attackman Alec Palmer, an all-MIAA second team pick who produced 15 goals and five assists in MIAA games last season. Anchoring the defense in front of McManus will be senior and four-year starter Brian Griffiths.
Also returning to the team is senior attackman Drew Harm. An all-MIAA second team pick after exploding for 40 goals in 2017, Harm missed the 2018 season after having a brain tumor removed.
"I think the preseason poll is an awesome gauge," Jake DeCola, who has served as head coach since Albion's first season in 2010, said. "It is an indicator of where the league thinks everyone is, and obviously, where we are today is different than in the past. It is great to see the strength of the league improving. Clearly, as we look at this poll, Albion's one MIAA loss over the last four seasons turned some heads. As the league gets tougher, our team will have to perform. Nothing is guaranteed, including a second place finish."
Albion will open the season with matches against Carthage College and Otterbein University at Detroit Country Day School. The Britons will make their campus debut March 16 against Kenyon College.
MIAA competition begins April 6 when the Britons travel to Grand Rapids for a matchup against Calvin College. Albion's home MIAA slate includes an April 9 date against Trine University, an April 13 contest against Alma College and an April 26 meeting with Adrian College.
The complete MIAA men's lacrosse pre-season poll is listed below with first place votes in parenthesis.
- Hope (6) 8 points
- ALBION (2) 12 points
- Trine 19 points
- Alma 25 points
- Kalamazoo 32 points
- Calvin 37 points
- Asdrian 43 points
- Olivet 48 points
For more Albion men's lacrosse news, stay turned to gobrits.com and follow @Albion_Mlax on Twitter