TOWSON, Md. – According to the Landmark Conference women's lacrosse coaches, the 2014 playoffs will look strikingly similar to 2013. Last year's playoff seeds mirror the top four picks in the 2014 Landmark preseason poll. Defending champion, Susquehanna University, was picked to repeat as conference champions.
Susquehanna earned the top spot in the poll with four first place votes and 54 points. The 2013 runner-up, Catholic University, was picked second with the remaining three first place votes and 49 points. The University of Scranton was seeded third with 30 points and Drew University was a close fourth with 28 points.
The Crusaders (17-1, 4-0) are coming off the winningest season in program history as they recorded 17 victories, won the Landmark Conference title for the first time in program history, and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. While the 2014 squad will miss All-America goalie and Susquehanna graduate, Emily Stankaitis, the team - under the direction of reigning Coach of the Year, Laura Moan - returns all six of its top goal scorers from a year ago.
Catholic (8-10, 3-1) head coach Meghan McDonogh welcomes a very talented class of newcomers to add to an already strong core of returning players. The Cardinals welcome back five of the team's top six goal scorers from a year ago that combined for 159 goals. Catholic will face three top-10 teams, including the defending National Champion, Salisbury, in the second game of the season. Although the team features just two seniors, the Cardinals will find a great deal of leadership from juniors Lindsay Brophy and Caroline DiBartolomeo, who were both named IWLCA All-Region in 2013.
Scranton (9-6, 3-1) returns five starters from the 2013 team including leading goal scorer Emily Goss. The junior midfielder was a First Team All-Landmark and Second Team All-Region selection last season after scoring 52 goals. Second year head coach Cindy Wilson hopes to build on last year's success where she shared Landmark Coaching Staff of the Year honors with Moan from Susquehanna. She boasts a roster with seven seniors.
Drew (8-10, 1-3) returns four of its top five scorers from the 2013 season including Nikki Kleiman and Krysta Cento. Kleiman and Cento led the Landmark in points last year. The experience of the Ranger veterans and eagerness of the incoming freshmen class has Drew ready to make a run at the Landmark title.
Landmark newcomer, Elizabethtown College (12-7, 6-2 Commonwealth), was picked fifth in the poll with 27 points. Goucher College (7-9, 0-4) was picked sixth with 17 points and in its second year of competition and first year in the Landmark, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (0-11) was picked seventh with 12 points.
The 2014 season kicks off today when Elizabethtown travels to Dickinson for a 4:00 p.m. contest. All seven teams will be in action by Mar. 2.
The top four teams in the final regular season standings qualify for postseason play in the Landmark Conference Tournament. The top two seeds will host semifinals Apr. 30 with the highest remaining seed scheduled to host the championship May 3.
|2014 Landmark Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll|
|Rank||Institution (First Place)||Points|