SOMERSET, N.J. – The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team has been predicted to finish sixth in the 2019 Northeast Conference regular-season standings, as voted on by the league's seven head coaches and announced on Tuesday afternoon. The Hawks, who won the regular-season title and reached the NEC title game last spring but lost a 12-member senior class of game-changers, return 20 letterwinners this spring under the direction of eighth-year head coach Taylor Wray.
2018 NEC Tournament champion Robert Morris was unanimously picked to win it all while Bryant, winner of five of the last seven NEC Tournament titles, followed in second. Sacred Heart, Hobart, and Mount St. Mary's rounded out the third, fourth, and fifth spots while Wagner finished seventh in the poll.
Saint Joseph’s will open its 2019 NEC slate on the road at Bryant (Mar. 23).
The Hawks will return home for back-to-back weekends to host 2018 NCAA Tournament participant and 2018 NEC Tournament champion Robert Morris (Mar. 30) and Hobart (Apr. 6) before facing Sacred Heart on the road (Apr. 13).
Saint Joseph’s will host Wagner (Apr. 20) before closing the regular season on the road at Mount St. Mary’s (Apr. 27).
SJU went 6-0 against the same conference opponents in the 2018 NEC regular season and is currently 25-5 all-time in NEC regular-season games (five seasons) entering the 2019 campaign.
The 2019 Northeast Conference Championship will be held on Thursday, May 2 and Saturday, May 4. The top four teams from the regular season qualify for the playoffs, with the highest seed earning the right to host the tournament. The Hawks hosted the NEC postseason tournament on Sweeney Field from 2014-16 and again in 2018 and reached the title game in 2015, 2016, and 2018.
Junior Tyler Makar, who will start on close D come opening day, was tabbed a 2019 Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-Northeast Conference Team defenseman.
2019 NORTHEAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
1. Robert Morris (6 first-place votes)
3. Sacred Heart
5. Mount St. Mary's
6. Saint Joseph's
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