The Savannah College of Art and Design took home the championship hardware in last year’s NAIA Women’s Lacrosse championship game and are our No. 1 team heading into 2020.
NAIA Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Top 10
10. Concordia (Mich.)
It’s not fun being the new kid in the WHAC, but Coach Asher had the Cardinals at 11-5 and the third-overall seed in the WHAC tournament in only their third season of competition. They graduated four solid players, but return one of the best goalies in the country in Amanda Archer. If they can pull out a win against Indiana Tech this year I think they make it to the NAIA tournament.
9. Indiana Tech
The Warriors graduated their top two scorers in Jennifer Banks and Bailey Childs (146 combined points), and Sydney Davis who started every game at goalie with an impressive 46% save percentage. They have plenty of talent left, but I think they take a small step back this year while they look for new leaders across the board.
8. Tennessee Wesleyan
Led on defense by a pair of strong goalies in Jovanna Romeo and Dakota Halford (combined 44% save percentage) — Halford is the returner listed on the team’s roster of the two — and on offense by MiKayla Virden (74 points), the Bulldogs have everything they need. Tennessee Wesleyan graduated only three players from a team that lost three games by a total of seven goals on their way to an 8-8 record. The question will be if they can win the close games this year.
7. Marian (Ind.)
What do you get when you graduate one player and have 12 seniors? A team ready to make one final run at an NAIA title. With only two underclassmen this is Marian’s year to make their mark.
6. Reinhardt (Ga.)
Katie Yarish and Morgan McGhee will lead an incredible offense that averaged nearly 20 goals per game last season. Can they beat Cumberlands?
5. Lawrence Tech (Mich.)
Dorrie Coggin returns in net (44% save percentage) while Lawrence Tech graduated almost no one on offense. The Blue Devils always have a tough out of conference schedule, which means their record does not reflect the talent that they have. This is the year that Tech puts it all together and makes a deep invitational run.
4. Keiser (Fla.)
The Seahawks were especially young last season with their top 3 scorers being underclassmen. Mix in a strong returning core on offense with Jessica Covell in net and Keiser should be a force again this year.
3. Cumberlands (Ky.)
The Patriots return most of their offense, as well as pre-season All-American Emily Crump in net. Expect another mid-south conference championship with a top-4 seed in the tournament.
2. Benedictine (Kan.)
With a strong out-of-conference schedule I could see the Ravens losing only twice this year. With an offense highlighted by Aidan and Mary McEnerney, all eyes are on the February 1st showdown with SCAD.
1. Savannah College of Art and Design (Ga.)
Going undefeated in NAIA play last year, the question is, can anyone beat the Bees? Early tests against Benedictine, Reinhardt and Keiser should give us an early indication. Anything short of a return to championship weekend will be a surprise.