Delaware Earns No. 19 Ranking in USILA Pre-Season Poll; Hens Open Saturday vs. Detroit
January 30, 2012
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
BALTIMORE, Md. -- The University of Delaware men’s lacrosse squad, coming off consecutive Colonial Athletic Association Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances, has earned a No. 19 national ranking in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) pre-season Coaches Top 20 poll announced Monday.
The Blue Hens return five starters from last year’s team that posted an 11-7 record, stormed through the CAA Tournament with road wins over Hofstra and Massachusetts, and gave Duke all it could handle in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling 15-14. Delaware finished ranked No. 14 in the final USILA poll of 2011.
Delaware, which traditionally plays the first game of the NCAA Divsion I men’s collegiate lacrosse season, will do so again this Saturday when the Blue Hens host Detroit Mercy at 1 p.m. in Delaware Stadium. Great season ticket packages are on sale as are single game tickets at www.bluehens.com.
Defending national champion University of Virginia earned all 14 first place votes and 280 total points to take the No. 1 spot in the pre-season poll. Johns Hopkins was second with 236 points followed by Cornell and Duke tied for third, Denver, North Carolina, Maryland, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Villanova in the top 10.
Massachusetts was at the No. 11 spot followed by Bucknell, Harvard, Hofstra, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Penn State, Yale, Delaware, and Drexel. Other teams receiving votes were Loyola, Army, Colgate, Georgetown, Ohio State, Hartford, Navy, and Bryant.
Delaware, led by 34th year head coach Bob Shillinglaw, will play a challenging schedule this spring and will take on seven teams ranked in the top 20, including No. 2 Johns Hopkins, No. 9 Villanova, No. 11 Massachusetts, No. 12 Bucknell, No. 14 Hofstra, No. 17 Penn State, and No. 20 Drexel. The Hens will also take on Loyola.
Shillinglaw will be looking to pick up career win No. 300 in the opener vs. Detroit and join just two other active NCAA Division I men’s head coaches - Dave Urick of Georgetown and Dom Starsia of Virginia - who have reached that milestone.