The men’s lacrosse team is gearing up to for what they hope will be another playoff-bound season this season.
The Royals were originally scheduled to travel to Farmingdale, N.Y., to take on Farmingdale State University at 1 p.m. Saturday, but the game was postponed. The team’s first game will now be at Muhlenberg College at 1 p.m. March 1.
The Royals finished 8-7 overall and 4-1 in Landmark Conference games. The team’s season ended in the conference tournament semifinal game with a loss to third-seeded Susquehanna University 7-4 at Fitzpatrick Field. This marked the third straight season and fifth time in six years that the Royals reached the Landmark conference playoffs.
Head Coach Doug Sage said he thinks his team last year was better than the performance they finished with reflected.
“I believe that we were a better team than a semifinal loss,” Sage said. “It was a very frustrating way to end the season.”
The team has 16 games scheduled for the regular season this year, including six conference games. The team’s first home game is at 4 p.m. March 5 at Fitzpatrick Field. The Royals begin conference play when they host Catholic University at 7 p.m. March 14.
The Royals have 29 players returning, but the team also lost a talented senior class. Graduated seniors include three first-team all-conference selections and two second-team all-conference selections.
Sage said the team lost a lot of talent from last season, but they are now deeper at each position.
Last season was Sage’s first as head coach at Scranton, and he said he has noticed a nice flow from his first year and from off-season into this season.
“The guys know what to expect,” Sage said. “There’s not a lot of change. We’re just building off of last year instead of starting with a new coaching staff.”
In the preseason poll of Landmark Conference coaches, the men’s lacrosse team was voted to finish fourth out of seven teams in the conference. The voting was very close, however, as Goucher College came in first with 42 points, Susquehanna came in second with 37 points, Merchant Marine Academy came in third with 35 points and Scranton came in fourth with 34 points. Rounding out the conference was Drew University with 30 points, Catholic with 24 points and Washington and Jefferson College with 15 points.
Sage said he is not worried about the preseason rankings.
“We’re trying to get to 1-0 and win the day,” Sage said. “What we’re trying to do is a lot more complicated than polls and preseason rankings.”
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