CMS Women's Lacrosse Earns No. 23 Ranking in Preseason IWLCA Poll

CMS Women's Lacrosse Earns No. 23 Ranking in Preseason IWLCA Poll

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's lacrosse team, coming off an 18-2 season and a SCIAC championship a year ago, earned the No. 23 spot in the preseason national Division III poll from the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association, the organization announced today.

Defending national champion Gettysburg was picked first in the preseason poll, followed by Middlebury, The College of New Jersey, Salisbury and Amherst in the top five. Among West Region teams, CMS was picked one spot behind Colorado College at No. 22, which handed CMS its only Division III loss last year, 17-13 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament (the other defeat came in the season opener to Division I UC Davis). 

The Athenas enter the new season poised to make another deep postseason run, returning most of their key players from a year ago. One notable loss was senior midfielder Evan Murphy, who led CMS in points last year with 81 and in assists with 40, but CMS has plenty of returning weapons to help keep their offense potent. 

Included in that mix is senior Corie Hack, an All-Region and All-SCIAC selection at attack. A year ago, Hack finished the season with 62 goals, including six in the NCAA Tournament defeat to Colorado College. 

Junior midfielder Allie Hill will handle the primary feeder role following Murphy's graduation. Hill tallied 28 goals and 29 assists last year, ranking second behind Murphy in assists. Sophomore midfielder Sally Abel will also give CMS a potent 1-2 scoring punch after scoring 47 goals last year in her first collegiate campaign.

Junior midfielder Emily Cohen will also look to build on a strong season, tallying 15 goals and 11 assists in only 13 games played, while junior attack Sally Carlson (16 goals, eight assists), sophomore midfielder Blaire Southmayd (16 goals, four assists) and sophomore attack Julia Mueller (12 goals, two assists) were all in double figures in goals scored as well. 

Senior Maddie Geary has 20 career goals and senior Carly Keeney has 16, and will look to take on an expanded role in their final collegiate seasons at attack. Juniors Emma Johnson, Sascha Reynolds and Mia Prine, and sophomore Brielle Huddy are also returning at attack to give CMS a wealth of offensive weapons, while sophomore Taylor Geary is also returning in the Athena midfield. 

Defensively, CMS ranked No. 9 in the nation in last year in goals against average (6.70 per game) and the Athenas figure to be equally tough to score on this spring. Junior Kira Weiss led the team a year ago with 44 caused turnovers and added 51 ground balls. Junior Julianna Clark also had big defensive numbers with 28 caused turnovers and 36 ground balls, while junior Zoe Ryan joined Clark as starters in every game last year.

Katie Hill (45 ground balls) graduated off last year's defense, but junior Luisa Valles, who started six games last year, is among the candidates to step into that vacancy. Senior Eryn Rogers will also be in the mix for increased playing time on the team's defensive unit. 

CMS also returns all three of its goalies from a year ago, with sophomore Anna Gillespie back after playing a majority of the minutes last season, tallying a 6.56 goals against average. Junior Sara Reid also started six games a year ago, finishing with a 6.92 goals against average, while senior Nicole Greenberg, one of the team's co-captains, has a career 3.69 goals against average and will help provide leadership to this year's team. 

The Athenas get their 2019 season started with a road game at Whittier on Wednesday, Feb. 20 before returning home to face Redlands on Saturday, Feb. 23 for an 11 a.m. contest (Parents Field).