Golden Bears receive seven of nine first place votes
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 12, 2019) – The Western New England University men's lacrosse team has been selected as the favorite in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was released on Tuesday afternoon.
Seven of the CCC's nine head coaches picked the Golden Bears as the top team in the league heading into the 2019 campaign, with Western New England compiling 79 points during the voting process.
2018 CCC runner-up Endicott College received the final two first place votes and finished second with 71 points, while Curry (63), the University of New England (51) and Roger Williams (47) rounded out the top five.
The final four spots in the poll went to Salve Regina (36), Nichols (25), Wentworth (20) and Gordon (13).
Western New England's CCC dominance continued last season, as the Golden Bears earned their seventh CCC championship with a 10-6 victory over Endicott in the title contest.
Now in his 18th season as head coach of the WNE men's lacrosse program, John Klepacki owns a career record of 225-97.
Klepacki brings back a pair of USILA All-Americans in junior midfielder Nick Gamba (East Islip, N.Y.) and junior defenseman Oskar Djusberg (Abington, Mass.), who both earned honorable mention recognition last spring.
Gamba, the 2018 CCC Offensive Player of the Year, compiled 55 points with 33 goals and 22 assists, while Djusberg was a top defender for the Golden Bears with 65 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers.
Western New England returns an additional four student-athletes who garnered All-CCC accolades last season, including senior faceoff specialist Hunter Cocks (Walden, N.Y.).
The Golden Bears open their 2019 season at Clark University on Saturday, February 23. Western New England returns to Springfield for its home opener against Keene State on Tuesday, February 23, while CCC play begins at Wentworth on Sunday, March 24.