HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The Limestone College women's lacrosse team tops the 2010 preseason coaches' poll.
Limestone will look to maintain its presence on the national scene this spring. The Lady Saints are ranked No. 9 in the 2010 Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll after finishing the 2009 season with a 17-3 overall (11-1 conference) record. The Lady Saints had an outstanding performance last spring as they claimed the Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament titles, and earned the program's fourth bid to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.
The Saints return 18 players from last season including 2009 Conference Freshman of the Year Brigid Milchling, and fellow all-conference honorees Renee Albro, Katie Ilott, and Erin Growney. Limestone will also have a lot of depth with 16 newcomers on the roster.
The Pfeiffer University women's lacrosse team has been picked to finish second in this year's preseason coaches' poll. The Lady Falcons finished 2009 with a 12-7 overall record, finishing 9-3 in league play. Pfeiffer finished the season winning five-straight before falling to Belmont Abbey in the Conference semifinals.
Pfeiffer returns in 2010 with three seniors to lead the way including last year's all-conference selections Heidi Karaszkiewicz and Jessica Turner. Karaszkiewicz put home 45 goals last season to go along with her nine assists to pace the Lady Falcons. Turner, on defense, helped hold opponents to just 10 goals per match. Looking to step up and lead the offense for head coach Dawn Easley will also be all-conference selections junior Amanda Smith and sophomore Caitlin Ryan. "I am very excited to see what this year brings for our team" stated Easley. "The fall showed a lot of promise, especially from our underclassmen and newcomers."
Belmont Abbey College has been picked to finish in the top three in the pre-season coaches' poll. The Abbey women's lacrosse team returns its top two scorers from last season's team that established a school record with 14 wins, including the program's first win over Limestone. First year head coach Liz Ramsey will have her top two scorers from last season return for one final year in an Abbey uniform. Senior Tara Chmil led the Abbey with 34 goals and 27 assists, and Briana Dignan was second with 23 goals and 31 assists. Chmil was a first-team all-conference selection last year, as were returners Laurie Jordan and Amanda Jones.
Rounding out the women's lacrosse preseason poll 4-8 was: Queens, St. Andrews, Lees-McRae, Converse, and Erskine respectively.
Conference Carolinas Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(First place votes in parentheses)
1. Limestone College (7) 49
2. Pfeiffer University (1) 39
3. Belmont Abbey College 37
4. Queens University of Charlotte 33
5. St. Andrews Presbyterian College 27
6. Lees-McRae College 17
7. Converse 14
8. Erskine 8