DURHAM, N.C.—The Duke men’s lacrosse team has been tabbed the nation’s preseason No. 1 by a second publication as Lacrosse Magazine placed the Blue Devils tops in its Nike/US Lacrosse preseason poll. Reigning NCAA Champion Maryland is second.
Duke, also the nation’s preseason favorite in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearboook, edged the Terrapins for the No. 1 spot, while Denver, Albany and Yale round out the top five. The Blue Devils are slated to face eight of the top 20 in the poll, including five in the top 12.
They earned the nod as the No. 1 team thanks to the return of the core of the lineup from 2017, including five of the six starters on offense, 81 percent of the team’s scoring and two of the three on close defense as well as the starting goalkeeper. The talented returning group will be bolstered by a host of rookies who are anticipated to contribute immediately.
Senior Justin Guterding will headline the offense as he tries to reach the 300-point career benchmark. A USILA All-America second team pick, Guterding was one of the country’s top scoring attackman last season with 97 points from 56 goals and 41 assists. Junior midfielder Brad Smith will lead the midfield after his All-American sophomore campaign in which he scored 20 goals and had 19 assists. Returning sophomores Joey Manown, Kevin Quigley, Reilly Walsh will be looked to for even stronger performances after solid rookie seasons.
Fifth-year senior Danny Fowler is back in goal after garnering All-ACC and All-American praise, while Van Raaphorst and junior JT Giles-Harris will be the leaders on the close defense. Sean Cerrone is undoubtedly the leader in the defensive midfield as Duke looks to fill the holes left by Tommy Zenker and Garrett Van de Ven.
Duke opens the season Feb. 3 against Air Force Academy in Durham. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils hold their first practice Jan. 10 and will scrimmage Ohio State Jan. 27.
NIKE/US LACROSSE DIVISION I MEN’S PRESEASON TOP 20
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- North Carolina
- Johns Hopkins
Also considered (alphabetical order): Air Force, Boston University, Brown, Fairfield, Hobart, Marquette, Lehigh, Navy, Providence, Richmond
Bold denotes 2018 opponent