BALTIMORE, Md. – The Ursinus College men's lacrosse team is ranked 23rd in the 2018 Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook preseason poll.
This marks the third season in a row that the Bears have received a preseason ranking from the publication. They were slotted 18th in 2016 and 13th in 2015. Ursinus is one of four Centennial Conference teams to appear in the poll, joining Gettysburg (No. 7), Dickinson (No. 11), and Franklin & Marshall (No. 15).
Ursinus brings back a strong core – including its top six scorers – from a squad that finished 9-5 overall and 4-4 in Centennial Conference play, narrowly missing the postseason after a pair of overtime losses in its last three games.
Junior attack Peter DeSimone led the Bears and ranked fourth in the CC with 38 goals – one shy of the single-season program record – to earn second team all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. He enters the 2018 campaign just ten points from 100 for his career.
Senior Gerard Brown gives Ursinus one of the nation's most prolific midfielders. Brown scored 17 goals and ranked second in the league with 28 assists, giving him 82 for his career and putting him within 20 of the school mark. A two-time first team All-CC performer who earned honorable mention All-America laurels a year ago, Brown is also in range of the all-time points record, needing 52 to match Anthony Tori '07.
Sophomore Bobby McClure is coming off a sensational rookie season in which he ranked second on the team in both goals (24) and assists (22, 5th CC), while seniors Ian Desenberg (23 goals, 6 assists) and Lou Harrison (19 goals, 9 assists) and sophomore Reagan Ketchum (13 goals, 5 assists) help to make the Bears' offense go.
Sophomores Nolan Sachs and Noah Frantz are back to anchor the defense after combining for 66 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers in 2017. Junior Brian Casey won 117 faceoffs last season, the fifth-highest total in Ursinus history.
The Bears also bring back a pair of goaltenders with starting experience in juniors Elliot Shevitz and Nick Kirk. Shevitz recorded 114 saves and a .523 save percentage in 11 starts, while Kirk was 3-1 with a .590 save percentage over five appearances (three starts).
In addition to league clashes with Gettysburg, Dickinson, and reigning champ F&M, the Bears will also take on No. 8 Cabrini this season. Ursinus gets three of those showdowns at home, with only the Dickinson game taking place on the road.
The men's lacrosse team opens the new campaign at Frostburg State on February 17.