TOWSON, Md. -- Inside Lacrosse released its Faceoff Magazine preseason Division III men's lacrosse coaches poll on Friday afternoon. Washington and Lee ranked sixth overall in the voting.
Three-time defending national champion Middlebury College sits atop the poll with 64 first-place votes. Two-time NCAA runner-up Gettysburg received nine first place votes and is second, followed by Washington College, Salisbury, Cortland, W&L, Ithaca, Hampden-Sydney, Whittier and Nazareth. Lynchburg was the only other ODAC team in the Top 20 as the Hornets garnered a No. 13 ranking.
W&L returns eight starters from its 2002 squad which went 14-4 overall, won the ODAC Tournament Championship, and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals. Leading the way are two returning All-Americans in senior captains Tom Melanson (Baltimore, Md./Loyola) and Matt Conners (Burke, Va./Robinson).
A midfielder, Melanson has scored 26 career points on 18 goals and eight assists, and has won nearly 69 percent of faceoffs during his three seasons.
As a defenseman, Conners has helped W&L rank among the Top 5 in Division III in scoring defense during each of his three seasons.
Other returning starters for the Generals include junior attackman Matt Fink (Wilmington, Del./Tatnall), sophomore attackman Gavin Molinelli (Northport, N.Y./Northport), junior midfielder Dustin Martin (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius), senior defenseman Noah Weber (Yorktown, N.Y./Yorktown), junior defenseman Lawson Grumbine (Owings Mills, Md./Gilman) and junior goalie Ansel Sanders (Weems, Va./Woodberry Forest).
Washington and Lee begins the 2003 season on February 22 as it hosts Bates College for a 1:30 pm contest.
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