Grand Valley State No. 1 in USA Lacrosse Magazine MCLA D-II Preseason Top 20

PHOTO COURTESY OF MCLA


The MCLA Division II is getting back to some semblance of normalcy, and there’s palpable excitement for the new season. The league slate really picks up speed on Feb. 5, and then it’s a full go from there.

With the season mere weeks away, Grand Valley State opens the spring as the top team in the USA Lacrosse Magazine Magazine MCLA Division II Preseason Top 20, in large part because of the Lakers’ stability as a program. St. Thomas checks in at No. 2, followed by Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota State and Kennesaw State in the top five.

Continue below to see the rest of the USA Lacrosse Magazine Magazine MCLA Division II Preseason Top 20.

1. GRAND VALLEY STATE

Stability, discipline and toughness. They are all staples of the Lakers’ program, and they will serve them well as MCLA Division II starts back up in full.

2. ST. THOMAS

The standard-bearer in the division, the Tommies had a short season in 2021 with some positive results. Garett Hoch is the leader of a powerful offense.

3. MINNESOTA-DULUTH

Matt Friesen and Connor Nadeau, two of the top three points men on the 2020 squad, are back. And you know the Duluth defense will be as vigorous as ever.

4. NORTH DAKOTA STATE

After a low-turnout 2021, the Bison are back up to their usual roster size and will be extremely dangerous. A fast, aggressive defense will lead the way.

5. KENNESAW STATE

Coaching turnover could cause some continuity issues, but there is no question that the Owls have the talent to take down the SELC.

6. DAYTON

The Flyers have been dormant for a while and don’t have their usual depth, but there is plenty of talent to be a player in the loaded UMLC again in 2022.

7. COLLEGE OF IDAHO

After the 2019 semifinal run and the explosive start to 2020, the Yotes were evolving into a juggernaut. Can they preserve momentum with turnover and a new coach?

8. MISSOURI STATE

With 11 seniors/graduate students and a stacked schedule, the Bears will likely have a lucrative seed at nationals. Look out for Owen Kehoe on attack.

9. MONTANA

Luke Johnson and Trent Tubbs lead an experienced group from last spring. The Grizzlies are deep with several promising transfers who could be game-changers.

10. ST. JOHN’S

The Johnnies were picked sixth in the powerhouse six-team UMLC, but players like defenseman Mick Rynerson could allow for a deep postseason run.







11. NORTHERN ARIZONA

Jake Smith leads a defense that will give the rest of the SLC fits. The ‘Jacks don’t have the experience after the past two seasons, but they should be in Texas come May.

12. MONTANA STATE

An ambitious schedule for the Bobcats this year could have them eyeing a pleasing seed in the postseason. MSU is rested and ready.

13. UC DAVIS

Attack will be the strength of the unit with Will Johnson, Trevor Leong and Alec Gestopa leading the way. The Aggies will be young all over the field, but definitely talented.

14. UTAH STATE

The return of standout goalie Berklee Baskin gives the Aggies a big-time stopper. Throw in a trio of experienced defenders, and USU will be a tough out.

15. FLORIDA GULF COAST

The Eagles might have to run the regular season table to stay in the at-large mix for nationals, but they should give Kennesaw a run for the SELC crown.

16. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT

All the prolific rookies from 2019 are seniors now. Despite having very little action during the last two years, there is not much missing from their last strong showing.

17. WAKE FOREST

With two super seniors and three seniors, the defense will be loaded and set up to win the first ALC title. Faceoff standout Shannon Keegan will get plenty of possessions for the Deacons.

18. FLORIDA ATLANTIC

Division I transfer Harrison Spilker will man the goal for the Owls, while leading scorers Kyle Romano and Drake Summers backbone a deadly attack unit.

19. RHODE ISLAND

The Rams are the favorites in the CLC and had some solid fall showings. Crafting a strong regular season slate will determine how far they rise.

20. BRIDGEWATER STATE

The Bears will be very young with just one senior on the roster, but the skill is there. A spring break trip to Minnesota will give them an idea of where they’re at.

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