AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's lacrosse team was picked sixth in the Ohio Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll in 2018.
The Purple Raiders tallied 33 points in the voting, just one-point behind fifth place Otterbein (34). Capital and John Carroll tied for the top spot each receiving four first place votes while the lone remaining first place vote went to third place Baldwin Wallace. Ohio Northern was picked in fourth.
The Purple Raiders return five defensive starters that hope to provide a spark to the offense as Mount Union lost five of seven games last year by seven goals or less.
The defense starts in the back as junior Jake Krone (Hudson) is back in goal after making 14 starts a year ago with 158 saves and a 56.6 save percentage on his way to All-OAC honors.
In front of him are four other returning starters headlined by fellow junior Javin Re (Chantilly, Va.), who had a team-best 34 ground balls and 24 caused turnovers. The other three returning starters on defense are junior Spencer Cline (Hilliard / Hilliard Davidson) along with sophomores Dylan Allen (Centreville, Md. / Queen Anne's County) and Adam Washburne (Massillon / Jackson).
Returning to lead the offense is senior Brent Greenberg (Gaithersburg, Md. / Quince Orchard) and junior Grant Elffers (Hudson). Greenberg is the top returning scorer as he was second on the team with 33 goals, 16 assists and 49 points, while Elffers had 19 points a year ago.
Topping a list of newcomers is freshmen in faceoff man Christopher Motter (Hudson) and attack Sean O'Loughlin (Hudson) along with sophomore transfer and long stick midfielder Cole Abid (Wootton, Md.).
Mount Union opens the 2018 season Saturday at 1 p.m. at Thiel (Pa.) while the home opener is Saturday, March 10 at 1 p.m. against Oberlin.
2018 OAC Preseason Coaches Poll
T1. Capital (4) - 58
T1. John Carroll (4) - 58
3. Baldwin Wallace (1) - 56
4. Ohio Northern - 54
5. Otterbein - 34
6. Mount Union - 33
7. Muskingum - 17
T8. Heidelberg - 14
T8. Wilmington - 14