The University of Scranton women's lacrosse team will open the 2020 campaign in the same place they ended the 2019 season – ranked 20th in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division III Top 25-that was released by the organization on Monday afternoon.
Scranton is coming off a historic 2019 season that saw them post a 16-3 record and advance to the Landmark Conference Championship game before falling just short against Catholic. The Royals were ranked in the IWLCA Top 25 for much of the season and finished the season ranked for the first time in program history.
The IWLCA preseason poll is led by defending national champion Middlebury who received all 25 first place votes. The rest of the top five is comprised of Tufts, Salisbury, Gettysburg and Wesleyan (Conn.). Scranton is one of two Landmark Conference teams ranked in the poll as Catholic sits at No. 10.
Click here to view the full 2020 IWLCA Top 25 Coaches' Preseason Poll.
The Royals return five of their top seven scorers from a season ago including junior attacker Jill Henson (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) who led the team in goals (48) and assists (34). Scranton brings back five players that earned All-Conference and All-Region honors last season in Henson, junior midfielder Kate Calabro (Seaford, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), senior defender Becca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./Windsor), sophomore midfielder Halle Conklin (Point Lookout, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) and sophomore defender Emily Schum (East Hanover, N.J./Morris Catholic).
Russo was named an IWLCA Second Team All-American after leading the Landmark Conference in ground balls (74) and ranking second in caused turnovers (41). She also ranked seventh in the conference with 79 draw controls.
Scranton has put together a challenging non-conference slate that features games against No. 1 Middlebury (March 22), No. 13 TCNJ (March 15) and No. 19 Ithaca (Feb. 26).
The Royals open the 2020 season at Messiah on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. Head coach Chrissy Trescavage's squad will open the home portion of their schedule when they host Kean on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 1 p.m.
Click here to view the full 2020 women's lacrosse schedule.