UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State women's lacrosse team has been ranked 10th in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Preseason Poll, the organization announced Tuesday (Feb. 5).
The Nittany Lions are one of five ALC teams in the top 20, which includes league members and top-ranked Northwestern, No. 3 Florida, No. 13 Ohio State and 19th-ranked Johns Hopkins. The ACC is the only other conference with five top-20 teams.
In 2013, Penn State will return eight starters, including leading scorer Maggie McCormick (Eldersburg, Md.), who led the Nittany Lions with 59 points (29g, 30a) as a freshman en route to IWLCA All-West/Midwest First Team and All-ALC Second Team honors. Midfielder Tatum Coffey (Toms River, N.J.), who was the nation's only freshman to earn IWLCA All-America honors (third team) in 2012, led the team with 53 draw controls and ranked third in points (40).
Additional returnees include senior midfielder Katie Guy (Whitby, Ont.), who was one of three Nittany Lions with double-digit draw controls (30), ground balls (23) and caused turnovers (13), and sophomore midfielder Kelly Lechner (Silver Spring, Md.), who collected 25 points (20g, 5a) as well as 23 ground balls and 20 draw controls.
Redshirt senior Colleen Shea (Baltimore, Md.), who ranked third on the team with 27 ground balls, will help anchor the Nittany Lion defensive unit, along with sophomore Cat Layne (Downingtown, Pa.). As a freshman, Layne started Penn State's final eight games and collected 10 ground balls.
Penn State, which Inside Lacrosse tabbed at No. 9 in its preseason rankings, will look to build off a successful 2012 campaign that saw the program earn its most wins since 2005 and third straight double-digit win season. The Nittany Lions compiled a 12-7 mark as it advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and defeated five ranked opponents, including three top-10 teams. Penn State also registered eight road victories, the most by a Penn State squad since the 1989 national championship team.
After an exhibition game against Penn Feb. 16, the Nittany Lions will open the 2013 campaign with a home matchup against Bucknell Feb. 20.