Defending Champ UNC Anchors LM's Preseason Top 20
|After an epic 2013 NCAA final battle, North Carolina and Maryland begin 2014 atop Lacrosse Magazine's preseason ranks. (Lee Weissman)|
BALTIMORE – Breaking through for its first NCAA title with a thrilling 13-12 win over rival Maryland in triple overtime, North Carolina will begin 2014 as the No. 1 team in Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division I women's lacrosse preseason rankings.
With most of the defense returning, including first-team All-American Sloane Serpe and offensive All-Americans Abbey Friend (attack) and Brittney Coppa (midfield), Tar Heels coach Jenny Levy has a full cupboard for the championship defense this spring.
The 2013 runner-up Terrapins, a game short of perfection (22-1), come in at No. 2 to begin the spring, with NCAA semifinalists Syracuse (No. 3) and Northwestern (No. 4) expected to return to form as well and challenge for the championship.
Florida, preseason No. 1 a year ago and an NCAA quarterfinalist in the spring, rounds out the top five.
The rankings were compiled by Lacrosse Magazine staff after consultation with college coaches.
Lacrosse Magazine will continue its 2014 college lacrosse preview throughout January and into February, with team-by-team breakdowns of the top teams in NCAA Division I, II and III men's and women's lacrosse. Follow the countdown at LaxMagazine.com/LMranks and on Twitter at#LMranks.
Lacrosse Magazine NCAA Division I Women's Preseason Top 20
1. North Carolina
8. Penn State
11. Notre Dame
12. Stony Brook
20. Boston College