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NAIA Lacrosse All Stars Coaches Poll: April 12, 2023

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 official NAIA polls.

Here is our latest NAIA Lacrosse All Stars Coaches Poll of the 2023 season.

Lacrosse All Stars NAIA Coaches’ Poll

Poll Methodology

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 Coaches Top 10 Poll (Last Updated April 5, 2023)

Poll Methodology

  • 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.
  1. Keiser
  2. Reinhardt
  3. Webber
  4. Concordia
  5. Indiana Tech
  6. Cumberlands
  7. Siena Heights
  8. Aquinas
  9. Lawrence Tech
  10. Benedictine

What Does This Tell Us? (Written by @NAIALaxInsider on Twitter)

Let’s go NAIA Lacrosse fans! We are down to the final month of the regular season and nothing is sacred going down the stretch. Teams keep blowing out our preconceived notions of what will happen and they actually are settling it on the field. Crazy right? Except nothing is being settled as teams keep beating on each other!

What is going on in the Midwest?

The AAC is set. There will be no surprises come tourney time that one of the top four teams in the conference will get an AQ. From there, the other three teams will also be in the national tournament. Yes, four teams from one conference seems unbalanced, but these teams deserve to be there, and we need to throw out trying to make it equal. Being as top-heavy as the AAC is, we aren’t seeing anything like the drama that is playing out in the Midwest though. But the drama is what we live for. So let’s see if we can dive into this mess that we have out in the Midwest.

The WHAC is the main culprit here. The top six teams here are just beating up on one another, with Lourdes hanging around with some teams as well. Concordia and Indiana Tech deserve to go to the national tournament. The KCAC has two teams battling it out, Ottawa and Columbia, but it looks as though Ottawa is the bigger threat there. Couple that with the Heart’s AQ, which only really leaves one spot open between the three conferences.

Siena Heights is the favorite right now for me to get that final at-large bid. Ottawa is right behind them followed by an unsorted mix of William Penn, Madonna, Benedictine, Lawrence Tech, Aquinas and Columbia. Siena Heights survived two tests this week against a pesky Taylor team and LTU. A good showing against IT and three wins to finish the season out should be enough for them, mostly because they have a dominant head-to-head win over Ottawa. For Ottawa, they can’t do much else. They unfortunately have only 11 games to make their case, and their last two games against Midland and Saint Mary won’t move the needle much for them. 

So, unless another WHAC team goes on a crazy run in their conference tournament, Siena Heights should be getting that final nod.

Player Awards

I will be running a poll at the end of the season on Twitter to recognize players in different positions. The winner of each category will be mentioned with a write-up of their season after the awards. If you would like to nominate any player, please DM me on Twitter. Some of the categories will be Player of the Year, Top Freshman, Top Goalie, Top FOGO, Top Middie, Top Defense, Top SSDM, Top LSM and Coach of the Year.

Games of the Week

We saw some big games this past weekend, including a #1 vs #2 match- up that showed everyone that someone is not going to give up the throne too easily.

#2 Reinhardt defeated #1 Keiser 10-6

I tweeted at the beginning of the year that RU is the odds-in favorite without seeing them play a second of lacrosse. When you are the five-time NAIA Lacrosse National Champions, you get the benefit of the doubt. You also get every team’s best effort, which is tough but also makes you sharp over the course of a season. They have had tough games and there are definitely teams that can knock them off, but as I said before, you don’t bet against the champs.

Reinhardt jumped out to a 6-1 lead at the half and didn’t look back, cruising to the victory. They executed plays non-stop in the first half, getting lots of good looks on the crease. The faceoff game was crazy, as Keiser dominated, winning 16 out of 19. Keiser goalie Christian Tomei kept Keiser in the game and totaled 18 saves on 28 SOG, but Reinhardt was just too much despite these two facts.

Cameron Cochran had a hat-trick for Reinhardt while goalie Liam Wright stopped 75% of the SOG, with 18 saves as well on 24 shots. For Keiser, AJ Badik also recorded a hat-trick with three goals.

#3 Webber downs (RV)Ottawa 11-7

This was an interesting game to check out. Webber was a long way from home and had just played back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday before finishing with the toughest game on their trip to the Midwest on Saturday. I thought Webber would win by a few more goals with their offense, but the trip plus Ottawa’s tough physical defense slowed them down. Great showing by Ottawa, but Jeremiah Loo and the rest of the Webber squad were just too much for them.

Nick Sheaffer dumped four goals in the back of the cage, while Loo added three himself. Vincent DeMarco from Ottawa scored twice for the Braves.

#4 Concordia beats (RV)Madonna 11-9

In the span of eight days, Concordia faced off against three ranked/RV teams (Siena Heights, Aquinas, and Madonna) and took them all down. Madonna was coming off a big win against an LTU team that took Concordia to the limit, so this was a quality win for them. This was an impressive run for them, as it quieted down the doubters after their win over Indiana Tech. Would they beat Tech again? Yes, but before they played, people were thinking it was a pretty big upset, but now, they are looking a bit more even. Indiana Tech has the talent and has been dominant most of the year, but Concordia keeps winning the games in front of them and that is what matters.

Travis Wright led the way for Concordia with six points, tallying a hat-trick for goals and assists with three each. Two players from Madonna had two goals each, with Shane Alexander and Nick Bryden finding the back of the net. Also, goalie Jeff Varner turned in an incredible performance for Madonna by making 24 saves on 35 SOG.