Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's lacrosse program was selected to finish sixth in the annual Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll Wednesday afternoon. Additionally, the trio of Alec Molander, Cameron Castle and Luke Strong were named players to watch for the Bobcats this season.
Headlining Wednesday's poll was the trio of programs that shared the league championship last season. Belmont Abbey (65 points) narrowly edged Limestone (64 points) for the top spot according to the coaches. BAC also collected four of the eight first-place votes, while the Saints picked up two first-place nods as well. Not to be forgotten, Mount Olive came in third with a total of 63 points and had the other two first-place votes.
After the top three teams, there was not a ton of separation between the other five programs in the poll. North Greenville (52 points), Chowan (45 points) and Lees-McRae (39 points) were the fourth, fifth and sixth teams, respectively followed by Emmanuel (33 points) and Barton (31 points).
Molander enters his final season in a Bobcat uniform as one of the top offensive players in Conference Carolinas. The Victoria, British Columbia native already owns the program's points (192) and assists records (84). The senior attackman needs to net just 11 more goals to become Lees-McRae's all-time leading goal scorer as well. Finally, Molander is the lone Bobcat to ever be named to an All-Conference Carolinas team in back-to-back seasons.
Castle comes into his senior campaign ranking at or near the top of several statistical categories for goalkeeping in the history of Bobcat men's lacrosse, including wins (10), saves (515) and save percentage (.469). With just 41 more saves, Castle will become the school's all-time saves leader.
Finally, Strong will look to take more steps forward during his junior season. Strong will hope to continue to improve in causing turnovers as he finished second on the team last season with 13. Currently, Strong is tied for fourth in program history averaging 0.90 caused turnovers per game.
Lees-McRae will kick off its 2019 season on February 2 when it travels to Mars Hill for a non-conference tilt. First faceoff for that game is set for 1 p.m.