The NAIA has been growing for number of years now but there as always been one consistent road bump for the teams involved, being the lack of national coverage. The league currently only offers one ranking system which features a rating committee comprised of eight raters; two raters per conference/group. All of these rankings are handled on an NAIA level and release publicly every other week compared to once a week.
We decided we would take this into our own hands and contact every NAIA coach directly to get their thoughts on the top ten on a week-to-week basis. This way we can get a better understanding of what coaches across the league value in a national title caliber team and see how their thoughts relate to the NAIA polls.
Here is our latest Lacrosse All Stars NAIA Coaches’ Poll of the 2023 season.
Lacrosse All Stars NAIA Coaches’ Poll
Every coach in the NAIA was sent a poll early Monday morning and was given twenty-four hours to provide their top ten rankings. It was as simple as ranking teams one through ten. With this data, we then were able to tally the votes via a point system and comprise the final rankings which you see below.
How do these results compare the official NAIA rankings?
NAIA Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll (Last Updated Jan 25, 2023)
- The rating committee is comprised of eight raters – two raters per conference/group.
- Each conference/group produces a conference rating from which raters will use to compile their national ballot. Only teams represented on the conference rating are eligible for the national ballot.
- Each rater will submit a top 15 ballot, which will be used to produce the Top 10 national rating and a list of other teams receiving votes.
- Indiana Tech
- St. Ambrose
- Tennessee Wesleyan
- Siena Heights
What Does This Tell Us?
Keiser Lacrosse Wins Big
Keiser currently sits at 8-0 on the year with big wins over Siena Heights and Indiana Tech on back-to-back days. Down 7-8 with under a minute left to play, the Seahawks found the back of the net on an Indiana Tech ten-man ride with 35 seconds left on the clock. Just like that the game was tied until Braeden Niemy tallied another goal for the Seahawks with 18 seconds left to seal the deal. With No.1 Reinhardt falling to Indiana Tech the following day, Keiser earned their spot at the head of the NAIA lacrosse table. However, things can certainly change by the end of the season as Keiser takes on Cumberlands, Reinhardt, and Webber in consecutive weeks to finish their regular lacrosse season. With how strong the AAC is, it will be very difficult to come out of all three games alive.
Where Does Aquinas Stand?
Aquinas came into the season regarded as one of the best teams in the country. A season opening loss to Webber is is nothing to be ashamed of, but Aquinas certainly turned some heads this weekend after losing to St. Ambrose at home. Coming into this game, St. Ambrose held of a record of 1-4 after losing to Mount Vernon just a day prior. While St. Ambrose is a competent team, I don’t think many expected them to come out on top against Aquinas after a slow start to this season. What does this loss say about Aquinas right now? Will they be able to hold their own in the WHAC this year? These are some of many questions regarding this team moving forward.
Don’t Sleep on Siena Heights
Siena Heights had a major test on their hands opening the season against Reinhardt and Keiser. The Saints lost both games 13-7 but stood tall throughout the entire game. Siena was in the game with Reinhardt till they were outscored 5-1 in the fourth, and against Keiser they fell out of the game after a 5 goal run from Keiser in which the Saints could not recover from. Overall, Siena Heights held their own against some impressive AAC foes so I would watch out for the Saints this season.