Breaking Down Each Team in the Nike/USA Lacrosse D-III Men's Preseason Top 20

PHOTO COURTESY OF CNU ATHLETICS

Max Wayne returns to a Christopher Newport team entering 2022 at No. 4.


The case can be made for a number of teams to earn the top spot in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division III Men’s Preseason Top 20, but it’s Salisbury that enters 2022 season at No. 1.

The Sea Gulls lost in a thriller to RIT — ranked second — in the national championship game in May, and with a roster that is again stacked with talent, Salisbury is hoping to go on another long run through the postseason. The Sea Gulls have made it to the national semifinals every year since 2015.

Cross Ferrarra and Jarrett Bromwell lead the way for a team that returns most of its talent. RIT, which returns Ryan Barnable, Quinn Commandant and others, enters 2022 with new faces on defense after graduating its starting close defense last spring. For the preseason Top 20, that’s what separates Salisbury and RIT.

Continue below to see the entire Top 20.

1. SALISBURY

The NCAA runner-up returns plenty of offense with Cross Ferrara and Jarrett Bromwell leading the way. Salisbury has advanced at least to the semifinals every year since 2015 and eyes its 13th NCAA title.

2. RIT

NCAA championship double-OT hero Ryan Barnable returns along with Quinn Commandant (50 points). The starting close defense, however, will be entirely new.

3. TUFTS

Star attackman Mac Bredahl quarterbacks one of the highest-scoring offenses in the country. The Jumbos reached the NCAA semifinals last year before losing by just two goals to RIT.

4. CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT

Coming off the first final four in its history, Christopher Newport returns plenty of key contributors, including defenseman Max Wayne and long-stick midfielder Phoenix Hines, the team leader in caused turnovers.

5. LYNCHBURG

Athletic long pole Chris Darminio and depth at defensive midfield maintain a unit that allowed fewer than eight goals per game. Kyle Lewis (53 assists) is back to orchestrate the offense.

6. YORK

York also fielded a strong defense in 2021, and the Spartans hope that continues this spring with senior goalie Jack Michael. As a junior, he had two 16-save performances.

7. COLORADO COLLEGE

New coach Mike Horowitz takes over a program that has gone 109-42 over the last 10 years, including a 13-4 record in 2021.

8. FRANKLIN & MARSHALL

F&M won its first eight games last season before falling to York in the second round of the NCAA tournament. A.J. Rigsby returns as the Centennial Conference’s top goal scorer (30). Fourth-year starter Spencer Hall anchors the defensive midfield.

9. ST. JOHN FISHER

A fourth-round NLL draft pick, Nicholas Miller is using another year of eligibility to play for head coach Dave Dobbins. He’s the school’s all-time leading scorer.

10. CABRINI

Nineteen players graduated. Sophomore Max Drift looks to build on an impressive 36-point freshman season.






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11. STEVENS

Stevens returns three of its top five scorers from 2021 and also returns Owen Stempkovski to help lead a defense that allowed just over eight goals per game. Faceoff man Connor Park also returns after going 68 percent from the dot last spring.

12. SUNY CORTLAND

An 11-4 season came to a close after the Red Dragons lost to RIT in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Cortland brings back a healthy amount of its offense, and the schedule features tough matchups against St. John Fisher, Cabrini and RIT.

13. WILLIAMS

Williams was impressive last year during a shortened schedule. The Ephs won the West division in the NESCAC and earned a road win at Wesleyan before their season came to an end against Tufts in the NESCAC championship game.

14. ILLINOIS WESLEYAN

Zach Iannucci’s team had one of the highest scoring offenses in the country in 2021, leading to a first-ever Elite Eight appearance. At one point, the Titans won 12 straight games and set a program record for its longest winning streak. The entire offense won’t return this spring, but Illinois product Rick Smith is back after leading the team with 74 points in 19 games.

15. STEVENSON

The Mustangs put together a 9-2 season before falling to Christopher Newport in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Goalie Marc Poust is back for another year after posting a 7.78 GAA in 2021. The Mustangs will have plenty of experience on the defensive side with Poust being the anchor.

16. CENTRE

The Colonels reached the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history, and they have a chance to make another run in 2022 with leading scorer Will Hubbs returns after notching 38 goals and 21 assists as a sophomore. SAA Defensemen of the Year Wills McCutcheon is also back for his senior year in the cage.

17. DENISON

Eric Koch enters his first year as Denison’s head coach, but he has a healthy amount of talent to work with. Luke Fisher returns for his sophomore season after being named the NCAC’s Newcomer of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He posted 24 goals and 14 assists as a freshman.

18. JOHN CARROLL

After going 14-2 in 2021, John Carroll is returning seven of their nine top scorers. The experienced roster has its sights set on a sixth straight OAC title and another NCAA tournament appearance. The Blue Streaks fell to Franklin and Marshall in the first round last year.

19. ST. LAWRENCE

St. Lawrence brings back four of its top five scorers, including Mark Mohoney, who is back for his senior year after leading the team with 36 points. Jack Hennessy also returns to the offense after leading the team in goals (26).

20. WESLEYAN

The Cardinals are looking to rebound from a shortened 3-2 season. Leading scorer Ronan Jacoby graduated and transferred to Rutgers, leaving Jake Sexton the keys to the offense. Wesleyan hopes to return to the postseason after missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016. 

Also considered (alphabetical order): Gettysburg, Ithaca, Ohio Wesleyan, Union, Washington & Lee

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