Nittany Lions Selected Third in ALC Preseason Poll
Jan. 28, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State was selected to place third in the 2011 American Lacrosse Conference preseason poll, the league office announced on Friday. In addition, senior co-captains Maggie Dunbar (Cockeysville, Md.) and Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.) were named to the ALC Preseason Team.
Defending ALC champion Northwestern was chosen as the conference favorite while Vanderbilt was voted second. Florida was picked to place fourth followed by Johns Hopkins and Ohio State, respectively.
The 2011 Nittany Lions return 19 letterwinners, eight starters, and 76 percent of their offense from a 2010 squad that won 10 games, defeated three ranked opponents, and advanced to the semifinals of the ALC Championship. Augmenting the roster will be the No. 9-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to Inside Lacrosse, highlighted by two-time All-American midfielder Lauren Purvis (Maple Glen, Pa.) and the nation's No. 6 recruit, attacker Mackenzie Cyr (Westminster, Md.).
Dunbar, a 2010 First Team All-ALC and IWLCA All-West Region honoree, will be a key figure in the midfield for Penn State in 2011. She is coming off a season in which she started all 17 games, led the Nittany Lions in ground balls (38) and caused turnovers (19), finished second in draw controls (32), and totaled 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists). Steadman is Penn State's leading returning scorer from 2010, amassing a career-high 45 points on 28 goals and 17 assists in 17 starts. She totaled six goals and four assists in two ALC Championship games to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
The Nittany Lions will make their debut under first year head coach Missy Doherty on Sun., Feb. 13 when they host Cornell in an exhibition game set for a 1 p.m. start. Penn State will begin the 2010 regular season the following weekend when it travels to College Park, Md. for a 12 p.m. showdown with defending national champion and preseason No. 1-ranked Maryland on Sun., Feb. 20.
Penn State opens ALC play on Sun., March 20 when it hosts Vanderbilt in University Park. The Nittany Lions will also welcome conference foes Florida (April 2) and Ohio State (April 17) to Happy Valley in 2011. League road games include visits to Northwestern (April 8) and Johns Hopkins (April 23). The 2011 ALC Championship will be hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. (May 5-7).