The University of Scranton men's lacrosse team is picked to finish second in the Landmark Conference during the upcoming 2012 season, according to a preseason poll of the league's head coaches and sports information directors released today by Joel Cookson, associate commissioner.
The defending champion Royals racked up 53 points, eight behind 2010 champion Goucher College, while Catholic University is picked to finish third with 47 points, followed by Susquehanna University (41), Drew University, the Merchant Marine Academy (19), and newly-affiliated member Washington & Jefferson (14).
Scranton won its first-ever Landmark Conference title last spring by winning four of its final five games, including a back-to-the-wall 9-8 victory in overtime against Goucher on April 20 at Fitzpatrick Field. In the Landmark tournament, the Royals downed Catholic, 12-9, and Goucher, 12-8, to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championships, where Scranton put up a valiant effort before losing an 8-3 decision to then 12th-ranked Gettysburg.
The conference has enjoyed parity throughout its first four seasons, with a different champion emerging every year. Drew won the inaugural title in 2008, followed by the Merchant Marine Academy in 2009, Goucher in 2010, and Scranton last spring.
The Royals will officially open their 2012 season this Saturday, February 25, against Farmingdale State in Farmingdale, New York, at 1:00 p.m.