SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 13, 2020) – 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 Thursday afternoon.
Eight of the CCC's nine head coaches picked the Golden Bears as the top team in the league heading into the 2020 campaign, with Western New England compiling 79 points during the voting process.
2019 CCC runner-up Endicott College received the other first place vote and finished second with 71 points, while Roger Williams (63), Curry (52), and Salve Regina (39) rounded out the top five.
The final four spots in the poll went to Nichols (37), the University of New England (29), Wentworth (23), and Gordon (12).
Western New England's CCC dominance continued last season, as the Golden Bears earned their eight CCC Championship with a 9-8 victory over Endicott in the title contest.
Now in his 19th season as head coach of the WNE Men's Lacrosse program, John Klepacki owns a career record of 239-103.
Klepacki brings back three USILA All-American honorable mentions in senior defenseman Oskar Djusberg (Abington, Mass.), junior defenseman Mitch Weiss (Westfield, Mass.), and junior midfielder Matt Greer (South Windsor, Conn.). Additionally, sophomore attackman Mike Bannon (Edmond, Okla.), returns for the Golden Bears.
Weiss and Bannon collected major awards at the end of the season as Weiss was named CCC Defensive Player of the Year and Bannon was named CCC Rookie of the Year.
Djusberg, Weiss, Greer, Bannon, and junior midfielder Jared Newall (Stratford, Conn.) were First Team All-CCC selections in 2019.
The Golden Bears open their 2020 season at home against Clark University on Saturday, February 22. Western New England will open CCC play vs Wentworth on Saturday, March 21.