Women's Lacrosse Ranked No. 15 in Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Poll
Dec. 21, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State was positioned at No. 15 in the annual Lacrosse Magazine preseason college rankings, which were released on Monday.
The rankings were compiled by the staff of the flagship publication of US Lacrosse after consultations with select coaches.
Captained by seniors Ashley Boccio (Northport, N.Y.), Maggie Dunbar (Cockeysville, Md.), Jackie Eastman (Springfield, Pa.), Laura Lesnick (Jarrettsville, Md.), and Jen Steadman (Sykesville, Md.), 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.).
Steadman and sophomore Molly Fernandez (Baltimore, Md.), Penn State's two top returning scorers with 45 (28g, 17a) and 40 points (27g, 13a), respectively, along with senior Mary Dean (Wyncote, Pa.) (20g, 13 a) and sophomore Hayley Sofarnos (Williamstown, Australia) (11g, 18a) will spearhead the attack. Lesnick (23g, 3a), junior Theresa Zichelli (Severna Park, Md.) (24g, 3a), and Dunbar, the team's leader in ground balls and caused turnovers in 2010, will key the transition game from the midfield. Anchoring the defense will be Boccio, Eastman, and first-year starting goalkeeper Dana Cahill (Towson, Md.).
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.
The Nittany Lions will face seven other team ranked in the Lacrosse Magazine's preseason top 20 in 2011 including No. 2 Northwestern, No. 7 Virginia, No. 11 Vanderbilt, No. 13 Loyola, No. 17 Florida, No. 18 Princeton, and No. 20 Hofstra.