Jan. 31, 2011
ATHENS, Ohio - The Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team has been predicted to finish second in the American Lacrosse Conference, league officials announced following a vote by ALC coaches.
The Commodores finished second a year ago after posting a 4-1 conference record. Vanderbilt earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season in 2010.
All-American junior midfielder Ally Carey leads Vanderbilt into the 2011 season and was the lone Commodore voted to the league's preseason All-ALC team. Carey scored 40 goals last season and led Vanderbilt in ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers.
Head Coach Cathy Swezey will replace six starters lost to graduation last May, but the Commodores return plenty of talent. Junior goalkeeper Natalie Wills has been a three-year starter at Vanderbilt, and earned second-team All-ALC honors last season. Seniors Catherine Mitchell and Claire Leonard hold down the defense in front of Wills. On attack, senior Katherine Denkler has scored 126 points in her Commodore career.
Vanderbilt will travel to the preseason South of the Border Tournament this weekend in North Carolina (Chapel Hill and Durham) before opening the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 12, at Presbyterian. From there, the Commodores will play host to four consecutive home games against North Carolina (Feb. 16), Canisius (Feb. 22), Northwestern (Feb. 27) and Cincinnati (March 2).
Reigning league champion Northwestern was chosen to repeat for the conference crown. Penn State was selected third, followed by Florida, Johns Hopkins and Ohio State.
The complete list of ALC preseason honorees follows.
American Lacrosse Conference Preseason Poll
3. Penn State
5. Johns Hopkins
6. Ohio State
American Lacrosse Conference Preseason Team
Ashley Bruns, Florida^
Ally Carey, Vanderbilt*
Annie Carruthers, Ohio State*
Alex Frank, Northwestern^
Angela Hughes, Johns Hopkins*
Alyssa Kildare, Johns Hopkins*
Colleen Magarity, Northwestern^
Alayna Markwordt, Ohio State*
Candace Rossi, Johns Hopkins^
Shannon Smith, Northwestern*
Jen Steadman, Penn State
Taylor Thornton, Northwestern^
*2010 ALC First Team
^2010 ALC Second Team