The defending national champion Loyola men's lacrosse team is the favorite to repeat as Eastern College Athletic Conference champ in its final season in the conference, according to Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook.

Behind the Greyhounds, the coaches' poll slated Denver second and Fairfield third.

Loyola, ranked No. 1 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse heading into 2013, will play lacrosse in the Patriot League starting in the 2014 season.

Greyhounds players made up nearly half the coaches' Preseason All-ECAC team, with six of the 13 members. Chosen to the squad were senior attackman Mike Sawyer, senior midfielder Davis Butts, senior short-stick defensive midfielder Josh Hawkins, senior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff, junior defenseman Joe Fletcher and senior defenseman Reid Acton.

Former Thunder player Ryan joins Belmont Abbey staff

Division II Belmont Abbey in Belmont, N.C., has added former Baltimore Thunder player Tom Ryan -- known in his playing days as "The Dude" for his long, dreadlocked hair -- to its men's coaching staff. Ryan is currently the head coach and general manager of the Charlotte Copperheads of the Professional Indoor Lacrosse League and has worked as an assistant coach with the Loyola College and Towson University women's teams.

At Bowdoin, Ryan finished his college career as the leading scorer in New England lacrosse history, totaling 315 points and setting school records with 169 goals and 146 assists.

A nine-year NLL veteran, Ryan played for the Thunder in 1998 and 1999, between stints with the Boston Blazers and Philadelphia Wings, and amassed 202 points in 95 career games. He was also a member of Team USA in 2002, when it defeated Canada in the Heritage Cup, and played for the New Jersey Pride in 2001, Major League Lacrosse's inaugural season.

As the coach of the NLL's Boston Blazers in 2009 and 2010, he led the team to an 18-14 record and two straight playoff berths.

D-III Presidents' Athletic Conference adding men's, women's lacrosse

The Presidents' Athletic Conference Presidents' Council announced that men's and women's lacrosse will be added as official sports beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.

The additions increase the number of sports sponsored by the conference to 21. The change was adopted by the Presidents' Council at its Dec. 5 meeting.

Unofficial conference championship events in both men's and women's lacrosse will take place in 2013 and 2014.

The PAC will be the 25th Division III conference to sponsor women's lacrosse and the 22nd to sponsor men's lacrosse.

"Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports at all levels nationwide and is simply a natural fit for the PAC," PAC commissioner Joe Onderko said. "The national growth of lacrosse and the growing sponsorship among PAC membership made the additions an easy decision for our Presidents' Council. We are confident that we have a solid mix of established men's and women's programs as well as schools that are positioning themselves to build successful programs, and believe that adding these two sports will give our membership and our student-athletes even more access to NCAA championship events."

Saint Vincent, Thiel and Washington & Jefferson sponsor both men's and women's varsity lacrosse programs, with Bethany sponsoring a men's program and Waynesburg a women's program.

Several PAC member institutions sponsor well-established lacrosse clubs on their campuses and are considering transitioning those clubs to varsity status for the inaugural championship events in the spring of 2015.