LEWISTON, Maine -- According to Inside Lacrosse's 2016 Face-Off Yearbook, the Bates men's lacrosse team's unprecedented success last year may be only the beginning.
The magazine has Bates at an all-time high No. 7 in its preseason Division III rankings, as one of four NESCAC teams in the top 10 nationally, along with Tufts (1), Amherst (3) and Middlebury (10).
Bates is coming off its best season ever: in 2015, the Bobcats played in the NCAA Division III Championship tournament for the first time, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen before being eliminated by eventual champion Tufts by a 13-8 score. Earlier in the regular season, Bates made waves nationally with a 12-8 win at Tufts, breaking the Jumbos' overall win streak at 24 and their home win streak at 28 games.
The Bobcats return two 2015 USILA All-Americans in junior midfielder Charlie Fay (Falmouth, Maine) and senior attacker Jack Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.), as well as two additional NEILA All-New England selections in junior defender Fred Ulbrick (Fairfield, Conn.) and junior midfielder Kyle Weber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio). Head coach Peter Lasagna -- who happens to be a regular columnist for Inside Lacrosse -- received Coach of the Year honors from both the NEILA and the NESCAC.
For his part, Lasagna sounds both excited and nervous about the news. "Now if our players will just forget they ever read that and understand that pre-season ranking has no impact on how good we will be or how hard they have to work every day, we will be fine," he said.
Bates begins practice on Feb. 15; the Bobcats' regular season starts Feb. 24 at No. 20 Endicott.
Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook DIII Rankings
April 30, 2016 Middlebury tips men's lacrosse 11-10 in NESCAC quarterfinal
April 25, 2016 Fay named NESCAC Men's Lacrosse Player of the Week
April 6, 2016 No. 13 Bowdoin tops No. 6 men's lacrosse 14-10
March 26, 2016 Men's lacrosse seniors get their win over Williams, 11-8
March 23, 2016 Men's lacrosse defeats Keene State in 14-13 thriller
March 12, 2016 No. 6 men's lax suffers first loss, 14-9 at No. 4 Amherst
March 5, 2016 Allard's goal late in overtime beats Wesleyan 12-11
February 27, 2016 Fay, Francis propel men's lacrosse to win at Roger Williams
February 24, 2016 No. 11 men's lacrosse surges to 14-10 win at No. 19 Endicott
February 23, 2016 Men's lacrosse preview: excitement carries over from banner 2015
December 21, 2015 Men's lacrosse ranked No. 7 in Division III by Inside Lacrosse
December 8, 2015 Death of Jack Sandler '02 hurts deeply at Bates