Dan Podesta '11
10/10/2010-- VACAVILLE, Calif.- Five months ago the Saint Mary’s Lacrosse team capped off the most successful season in the program’s history with a 9-5 victory over league rivals UC Santa Cruz to bring home its first WCLL Championship in ten years. This Fall, the Gaels’ focus is shifted towards the 2011 campaign. Last week the official 2011 WCLL Preseason Coaches Poll was announced with the Gaels securing the top spot as they hope to not only defend the title they earned last season, but push towards earning a bid to the MCLA National Championship Tournament in Denver, CO.
Saint Mary’s received 46 points in the rankings and four first place votes. Following closely with 44 points and three first place votes was UC Santa Cruz. The two teams are favorites to meet for a third straight time in the WCLL Division II Championships in May.
Looking to spoil the hopes of the Gaels and the Slugs are San Jose State and Nevada, ranked third and fourth respectively. These spots carry added importance this season as the playoffs have been expanded to include four teams instead of just two.
Rounding out the poll is UC Merced, Pacific, and Humboldt State. Pacific and UC Merced will both look to improve on their 2010 records with new head coaches this season. Humboldt State was voted in as a full WCLL member this year.