January 11, 2013

#LMranks: No. 16 Towson Tigers (Women)

Towson defender Alexa Demski, a third-team All-American, is back with sophomore returning defensive starter Michelle Dufault.
© Towson Athletics

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | Team Page/Schedule

Lacrosse Magazine is counting down its preseason rankings throughout the month of January exclusively on LaxMagazine.com.

Today continues a look at our NCAA Division I Top 20 rankings. For more, visit LaxMagazine.com/LMranks. Follow @LacrosseMag on Twitter and Tweet using the hashtag #LMranks. The countdown will resume Monday with profiles of the 15th-ranked teams in NCAA Division I men and women.

Power Ratings

Offense: 3*
Defense: 3
Goalkeeping: 2
Draw: 2
* Out of 5

Top Returner

D Alexa Demski (Sr.)
The third-team All-American was second on the team in caused turnovers (20) and ground balls (39) despite missing the final four games of the year due to injury. She is expected to be healthy for 2013, and will continue to gel with sophomore defender Michelle Dufault (36 CT).

X-Factor

A Andi Raymond (Jr.)
This Michigan native had a breakout season as a sophomore, leading the team with 68 points. She had three assists in the double overtime win against James Madison in the CAA championship game.

What's New?

Sophomore Kelsea Donnelly replaces veteran Mary Teeters in the cage. Donnelly is not entirely green, though. Donnelly stepped in when Teeters struggled in the NCAA play-in game versus Monmouth and made eight saves. In high school, she had a .620 save percentage at South River (Md.) High School when the Seahawks won the Maryland state championships.

What's Not?

The balanced attack. Towson had eight players with double-digit goals last season; seven of them return for 2013. A year's experience together could boost the unit's numbers. The offense averaged 10.40 goals per game last year, a respectable if not impressive number. The Tigers went 8-1 in one-goal games, but most of them were low-scoring affairs. If the attack could create more separation, wins would come easier.

#LMranks WD1 Preseason Countdown

Monday: No. 20 Princeton
Tuesday: No. 19 Boston College
Wednesday: No. 18 Stony Brook
Thursday: No. 17 UMass
Friday: No. 16 Towson
Next week: Nos. 15-11

More: Countdown schedule | MD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3 | JuCo | MCLA | WCLA

2012 Recap

Record: 16-4, 7-0 CAA

In a Nutshell: The Tigers rode a good goalie and a balanced attack to a 16-4 overall record and a perfect 7-0 mark in the CAA. They won the conference championship and earned the No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they were upset by a feisty, unseeded Penn State squad, 15-8.

High Point: Rallying to defeat two-time defending CAA champion James Madison in the conference final in an 8-7 victory. The Tigers won 12 of 17 draws in the contest, and withstood a dangerous man-down situation in the second half.

Low Point: After an early season 7-6 upset of then-No. 12 Loyola, the Tigers stumbled against their other Charles Street rival, Johns Hopkins. Towson fell, 5-4, to the unranked Blue Jays, managing just 14 shots and losing the draw by a whopping 10-1 margin.

2013 Preview

Best Case: The duo of Demski and Dufault give Donnelly a chance to settle in at the defensive end, and the returning attackers find a more consistent way to score. One of the five freshmen midfielders on the roster steps up as a power on the draw, which was a weak spot for the Tigers last season. Towson steals a win or two in its impressive non-conference schedule (opponents include North Carolina, Georgetown, Loyola, Syracuse and Maryland) and repeats as CAA champs.

Worst Case: Towson can't hang with the big dogs outside of the CAA, and faces James Madison again in the conference championship. With a healthy Casey Ancarrow back in the mix for the Dukes, it's a different story. James Madison retakes the CAA crown, leaving the Tigers to watch the NCAA tournament from home.


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