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The quest continues. Purdue, which received its second straight berth to the MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour in 2016, had a solid season, but a first round loss to eventual national champion Chapman left the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (and its previous iteration) at 0-17 at nationals. The Boilermakers are the preseason pick to return to Orange County, but the GRLC should be one of the more wide open races in the MCLA.
Miami (Ohio), which finished as the conference runner-up last spring, and Indiana will be the biggest threats to Purdue’s quest for a third trip to nationals, although Kansas is on the uptick.
The GRLC’s second division will have an entirely new look this spring. With NAIA programs heading off on their own, the GRLC is without former top dog Missouri Valley and a host of other teams that left the league with just five teams. The addition of Rose-Hulman (Ind.) and Southern Illinois props the conference back up to seven and retains the automatic qualifier.
Washington (Mo.) has been slotted as the favorite, but the AQ is completely up in the air. Missouri State and St. Louis will be in the running and maybe even Creighton can make a run at the bid. The winners of both divisions are staring down the barrel of the No. 16 seed when nationals is bracketed, however.
Players to Watch
David O’Hara, Jr., Midfield - Kansas
Evan Sattler, Soph., Attack - Purdue
Matt White, Jr., LSM - Indiana
Riley Muir, Jr., Attack – Washington (Mo.)
Marcus Robinson, Soph., LSM – Missouri State
Sanjay Seetharaman, Sr., Defense – St. Louis
Division I Preseason Poll
2. Miami (Ohio)
9. Illinois State
10. Kansas State
Division II Preseason Poll
1. Washington (Mo.)
2. Missouri State
3. Saint Louis
5. Southern Illinois
7. Missouri S&T