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Last May, Dayton became the lowest seed (No. 9) to ever win an MCLA championship.

Flyers First: Dayton is No. 1 in USA Lacrosse MCLA Division II Preseason Top 20

January 16, 2024
USA Lacrosse Magazine Staff
Lance Wendt

Dayton, the 2023 MCLA Division II champion, is flying high to start the new year. The Flyers will begin the spring season No. 1 in the USA Lacrosse MCLA Division II Top 20.

Hot on their trail is St. Thomas, which is in a familiar position at No. 2. St. Thomas lost to Dayton in the MCLA Division II title game, with the Flyers becoming the lowest seed (No. 9) to win a title. There will be no sneaking up on the competition this spring, however.

After St. Thomas, Air Force starts at No. 3, UNC-Charlotte earns the No. 4 nod and Rhode Island rounds out the top five.

UC San Diego, which boasts USA Lacrosse MCLA Division II Preseason Player of the Year Austin Ortel, is No. 9. The engine for the Tritons’ offense, Ortel — a junior attackman — is the consummate quarterback. The first-team All-American buried 52 goals last spring while setting up 54 others for a 106-point campaign for the national qualifiers.


1. Dayton
2. St. Thomas
3. Air Force
4. UNC-Charlotte
5. Rhode Island
6. Grand Valley State
7. Cal State San Marcos
8. Montana
9. UC San Diego
10. Missouri State
11. Montana State
12. Florida Gulf Coast
13. Kennesaw State
14. Minn.-Duluth
15. Florida Atlantic
16. North Dakota State
17. Wake Forest
18. Western Washington
19. Utah State
20. Northern Arizona