Men's lacrosse ranked No. 7 in Division III by Inside Lacrosse

Head coach Peter Lasagna and the Bates men's lacrosse team are the No. 7 team in Inside Lacrosse's preseason Division III rankings. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

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