Aurora University has been picked to win the Midwest Lacrosse Conference championship according to the preseason poll, voted on by the league's head coaches.
The Spartans captured a share of their fifth consecutive MLC title last year with a 7-1 record in conference play (18-3 overall) and earned a berth to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament with a fifth straight MLC Tournament championship.
Aurora received nine of the 10 first-place votes and 81 total points in the preseason poll.
The other two defending co-champions, Concordia University Wisconsin and Beloit College, were second and third in the poll with 71 and 67 points, respectively, and a first-place vote for the Buccaneers.
MSOE was fourth with 53 points, Benedictine University fifth with 52 and Cornell College sixth with 40.
Monmouth College was seventh with 33 points, followed by league-newcomer Marian University in eighth with 24.
Concordia University Chicago and Fontbonne University rounded out the final two spots in the poll with 16 and 13 points.
The MLC's regular season standings determine the teams that qualify for the four-team conference tournament, while the tournament champion receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA III Championship Tournament.
2018 MLC Preseason Poll
1. Aurora (9), 81
2. Concordia Wisconsin, 71
3. Beloit (1), 67
4. MSOE, 53
5. Benedictine, 52
6. Cornell, 40
7. Monmouth, 33
8. Marian, 24
9. Concordia Chicago, 16
10. Fontbonne, 13
First-place votes in parentheses
Voted by the conference's head coaches, who could not vote for their own team
9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale used