Defending regular season and conference tournament champions RIT garnered the top rank in this season’s ECAC West preseason coaches’ poll. RIT (27-1-1, 6-0 ECAC West) received four first place votes in the six team poll. The Tigers finished as the runner up in last season’s NCAA Division III Championship game.
“The top three teams in the ECAC West are all very strong programs, and I think they could match up with the top three in any other league very well,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson.
Manhattanville (14-11-2, 2-3-1 ECAC West), in only its third season, is ranked second in the poll and garnered one first place vote.
Elmira (16-10, 3-3 ECAC West) landed in the number three spot with 19 points and one first place vote. The Soaring Eagles are entering this season under new head coach Tim Ceglarski.
Hobart (6-15-4, 0-5-1 ECAC West) and new program Utica tied for fourth place in the poll. Hobart is rebuilding this season after graduating 15 players last year. And Utica is entering its inaugural season under coach Gary Heenan.
Neumann rounds out the poll in sixth place, as they move in to the ECAC West for the first time after playing an idenpendent schedule for the past three seasons.
“The top three teams in the ECAC West are pretty much interchangable in position,” said Neumann coach Nick Russo. “You could put them in any order. The other three of us will all be fighting at the end of the season for that last playoff spot.”