A year after making the Mountain East Conference Tournament in its inaugural season, the women’s lacrosse team at UVa-Wise has been picked to finish fifth out of seven schools in the Preseason MEC Coaches Poll.
Defending regular season and tournament champion Shepherd University was tabbed preseason favorite as the Rams took home six of the seven first place votes.
Shepherd returns two of its top three scorers from last year in in Erin Phelan (55 goals, 16 assists) and Haley Price (24 goals, nine assists). Defender Kelsey Phelan and goalkeeper Savannah Shores will help lead a defensive unit that allowed under 10 goals per game last season.
Wheeling Jesuit was picked second with 28 points, followed by West Virginia Wesleyan (25) and Notre Dame College (20). UVa-Wise (16) and Urbana (15) and the University of Charleston (7) rounded out the poll. The Golden Eagles are in their first season of lacrosse as a varsity sport.
UVa-Wise returns First-Team All-MEC honoree Hannah Marshall (18 goals, 21 groundballs, 17 caused turnovers) along with Second-Team All-MEC members Annie Hanson (20 goals, 18 groundballs), Lauren Donahue (19 groundballs),
Mel Reilly (149 saves) and Taylor Lawton (15 goals, 22 caused turnovers). Second-year Head Coach Meghan Dennehy returns as the MEC Coach of the Year after leading the program to a trio of wins in its first season and a spot in the league tournament.
UVa-Wise begins the 2016 season on Feb. 24 at home against Tusculum.