With all but a few key contributors returning from last year’s US Lacrosse Southern Section champions, including at least eight players committed to play in college, the Loyola Cubs were voted No. 1 in the US Lacrosse/MaxLaxLA preseason coaches poll.

Right behind the Cubs were the other three LA semifinalists from last spring — Palos Verdes, Harvard Westlake and Westlake.

Loyola received 27 first-place votes on the 30 ballots cast, and Palos Verdes received two. The final first-place vote went to Thousand Oaks, which wound up fifth in the balloting overall.

After the No. 5 Lancers in the preseason coaches poll came Marmonte League rivals Agoura and Newbury Park at Nos. 6 and 7, with Peninsula, Oaks Christian and Sierra Canyon rounding out the Top 10.

Last year, Loyola finished 20-4 overall and became the first Los Angeles-area team to win the US Lacrosse Southern Section title, defeating Orange County champ Corona del Mar 10-6. The Cubs beat Palos Verdes in overtime to win the LA division.

Palos Verdes, which finished 19-3 overall, had spent much of the season in the No. 1 position in the poll. The Sea Kings were voted No. 1 in the preseason, then lost their first two games — at Westlake and at St. Margaret’s. They won 19 in a row after that, though, including an overtime win at Loyola, until the LA title-game loss to the Cubs.

Harvard Westlake, which lost to Loyola twice in Mission League play last year and again in the LA semifinals, received one second-place vote, 13 third-place votes and nine fourth-place votes.

Marmonte League champion Westlake was picked third by eight voters, fourth by 11 voters and fifth by eight voters.

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