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GRAND LAKE, Colo. – After finishing the 2017 season ranked No. 3 in the final IWLCA Coaches Poll, Penn State will begin 2018 ranked No. 4 in the IWLCA Pre-season Coaches Poll as announced earlier Monday Afternoon.
Penn State earns its third-straight top-10 pre-season ranking and the fifth under the guidance of head coach Missy Doherty. The No. 4 ranking is the highest pre-season mark for the Nittany Lions since at least the turn of the century.
PSU made the NCAA National Semifinals for the second-consecutive season in 2017 ending the year with a loss to Maryland at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The Nittany Lions finished the campaign 17-4 overall earning the second-most single-season wins in program history and the most since securing 19 wins in 1989.
Penn State also set single-season records for goals and points last season with 303 and 427, respectively, as one of only 12 teams in the nation to eclipse 300 goals on the year. The Nittany Lions ranked second in the Big Ten only behind Maryland in goals and goals per game averaging 14.43, good for 18th in the nation.
The Big Ten Conference has four teams in the top-25 to start the season as the defending National Champion Terrapins are the pre-season No. 1 and Northwestern and Johns Hopkins come in at No. 11 and No. 22, respectively.
Along with the three conference teams, the Nittany Lions will face a total of 10 teams ranked in the pre-season top-25 as Towson (No. 19), Loyola Maryland (No. 25), James Madison (No. 16), Albany (No. 24), Princeton (No. 9), Virginia (No. 14) and Stony Brook (No. 2) all begin the 2018 season ranked.
Penn State opens the season on the road at Towson with a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday, February 10.