Denver Ranked No. 1 in Nike-US Lacrosse Preseason Top 20


Trevor Baptiste, Denver's All-American faceoff specialist, is one of the reasons the Pioneers are ranked No. 1 going into the 2017 season.

Nike/US Lacrosse Rankings
Division I Men | Division I Women
Division II Men | Division II Women
Division III Men | Division III Women

The last time everyone was this high on Denver, the Pioneers brought an NCAA championship back to the Rockies.

With a Tewaaraton candidate on attack (Connor Cannizzaro), the consensus top faceoff specialist in the country (Trevor Baptiste) and additional All-Americans at midfield (Tyler Pace) and defense (Christian Burgdorf), Denver earned the No. 1 preseason ranking in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Top 20.

Inside Lacrosse reported Monday that first-team All-American midfielder Zach Miller withdrew from Denver — a significant but not insurmountable hurdle for the Pioneers with their proven depth.

Denver, which rode a preseason No. 1 ranking all the way to the national title in 2015, opens the season with six straight home games starting Feb. 11 against Air Force. Though 2016 was supposed to be something of a rebuilding year, the Pioneers were 13-1 entering May before stumbling in the Big East championship game against Marquette and then falling to Towson in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Cannizzarro, Burgdorf and Pace lead a deep and talented senior class in 2017.

NCAA finalist Maryland, reigning champion North Carolina and surprise final four qualifier Loyola grabbed the next three spots in the preseason poll, with Notre Dame rounding out the top five. Scroll down to see the complete Top 20 or click here for a more comprehensive listing.

Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Men Preseason Top 20

1. Denver
2. Maryland
3. North Carolina
4. Loyola
5. Notre Dame
6. Johns Hopkins
7. Yale
8. Syracuse
9. Brown
10. Duke
11. Virginia
12. Albany
13. Navy
14. Towson
15. Penn State
16. Rutgers
17. Marquette
18. Ohio State
19. Air Force
20. Villanova

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