It’s a wrap. The 2018 season is history and two champions were crowned in Annapolis, MD earlier this month. If we had a bracket challenge, I’m betting that no one would have predicted the results for both DI and DII. That’s what makes sports so much fun, you just never know which way the ball will bounce. To end the season we have a pair of first-timers at the top of our 2018 All Pro President’s poll for Division I and Division II.
Virginia is number one in DI! Hoo? That’s right, Virginia. The Cavaliers flew under virtually everyone’s radar in 2018 except for those close to the program. The Cavaliers, out of the Blue Ridge Conference, finish 2018 with a record of 10-1. Ironically, UVA’s lone loss this season came in early February to their championship game opponent, Navy. Along the way, Virginia reeled off impressive victories over DI playoff teams, JMU and Temple before knocking off the defending DI Champion Towson in the playoffs. Averaging nearly 11 goals a game in 2018, UVA also boasted strong play at the faceoff X as well as a stout defense and stellar goaltending. Virginia jumps up from number 4 to end the season as the NCLL’s #1 team both on the field and as voted on by our pollsters.
Perhaps the more unlikely champion came out of DII. The Stevens Tech Club team rose like a phoenix from the ashes to the surprise of almost every casual observer. After beating a previously undefeated Providence team in the NY Metro/New England Conference playoff game, the Ducks raised more than a few eyebrows en route to Annapolis and a #7 seed entering the DII Championship weekend. Finishing with 13-2 record in 2018, the Ducks proved that they belonged in the conversation about the league’s elite all along. In the Elite 8, Stevens knocked off what was perhaps the hottest team in the NCLL when they defeated Akron who entered the game with an unblemished 15-0 record. Next, in their Final Four game, the Ducks handled an extremely tough VMI side to advance to the Championship game. In the Championship, Stevens methodically defeated a red hot RIT squad who many thought would hoist the trophy after their amazing comeback win against defending champ West Chester.
Click the links below for the rest of the DI and DII polls. Thanks for a great season and be sure to let us know your thoughts on how things went.