Salisbury Selected Preseason Favorite in CAC Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Poll
Salisbury Selected Preseason Favorite in CAC Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Poll

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Sixteen-time defending champion Salisbury has earned the top spot in the 2019 Capital Athletic Conference Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll. The Sea Gulls compiled five first-place votes and 36 points, edging out York (30 points) as the preseason favorite in a vote among the conference head coaches. 

Mary Washington, which fell to Salisbury in the CAC championship last season, took third in the poll with 27 points and the final first-place tally. Christopher Newport landed in fourth place with 21 points, followed by St. Mary's (16) and Frostburg State (11) in fifth and sixth, respectively. Southern Virginia rounded out the preseason poll with seven points.

A trio of CAC teams begin their seasons on Saturday, Feb. 16, with all seven squads opening up non-conference action by the end of February. Conference play is set to start the last weekend in March. 

The CAC Tournament will feature seven teams this spring with the top seed receiving a bye, beginning with the first round on Saturday, Apr. 27 and culminating with the championship game on Saturday, May 4. 

2019 CAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll

Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Salisbury 36 (6)
2. York 30
3. Mary Washington 27 (1)
4. Christopher Newport 21
5.  St. Mary's 16
 6.  Frostburg State 11
7. Southern Virginia 7

Below is a brief preview of each team entering the 2019 campaign: 

1) SALISBURY looks to capture its 17th straight CAC championship and make a return trip to the final four after reaching the national semifinals for the first time since 2014 last season. Despite losing three All-Americans to graduation, the Sea Gulls return a wealth of experience. Senior Martha Hutzell, a third-team All-American in 2018, headlines a defensive unit that returns every starter from a season ago. Sophomore Emma Skoglund, the reigning CAC Rookie of the Year, will lead the attack after registering 37 goals to place her second on the team.

Number of returning starters: 7

Returning All-CAC performers:
Martha Hutzell, senior, defense, one All-CAC accolade (2018 First-Team All-CAC)
Kendall Bannan, junior, defense, one All-CAC accolade (2018 Second-Team All-CAC)
Emma Skoglund, sophomore, attack (2018 CAC Rookie of the Year)

Returning All-Region performers:
Martha Hutzell, senior, defense, one All-Region accolade (2018 IWLCA First-Team All-Region)

Returning All-Americans:
Martha Hutzell, senior, defense, one All-American accolade (2018 IWLCA Third-Team All-American)

2) The YORK COLLEGE women's lacrosse team enters the 2019 season ranked sixth in the country according to the IWLCA Preseason Poll. The Spartans finished 15-5 last year as they advanced to the Elite Eight, losing 11-10 at Middlebury. The Spartans are slated to return nine starters including IWLCA All-Americans Nicole ClauterMeghan Fox, and Devin Hursey. The Spartans also return all Metro-Region selection Regan Cook to the lineup. The Spartans will need to find a replacement for all-region goalie Charlotte Wright and do-everything all-region midfielder Melissa Meehling as they both graduated. The Spartan schedule will be challenging as they will face seven teams ranked in the preseason top-20. 

Returning Starters: 9
Notable Statistics: Meghan Fox: 3rd in the CAC in goals and 9th in points, 4th in FPG; Devin Hursey: 4th in FPG, sixth in the CAC in assists; Nicole Clauter: 1st in the CAC in draw controls, tied for second in caused turnovers, tied for fifth in ground balls
Returning All-CAC Players: 4
(Nicole Clauter, Meghan Fox, Devin Hursey, Regan Cook)
Returning All-Region Players: 4
(Nicole Clauter, Meghan Fox, Devin Hursey, Regan Cook)
Regan Cook: Junior Midfielder (2x All-CAC, 2018 All-Metro Region) 
Returning All-American Players: 3 (Nicole Clauter, Meghan Fox, Devin Hursey)
Nicole Clauter: Senior Defender (3x All-CAC, 2017 POY, 2x All-Metro Region, 2x All-American)
Meghan Fox: Junior Attack (2x All-CAC, 2017 ROY, 2x All-Metro Region, 2018 All-American)
Devin Hursey: Junior Midfielder (2018 All-CAC, 2018 All-Metro Region, 2018 All-American) 

3) MARY WASHINGTON welcomes back 10 starters on a senior laden squad that is ranked No. 6 in the US Lacrosse Magazine poll. The Eagles return 85% of their scoring including last year's leading goal scorer, Julia Albert, and 2018 second team All-American, Mackenzie Maguire. Back in goal is 2017 third team All-American, Hanna Ashby, who missed 12 games last season with an injury. On defense, UMW brings back Jenny Bosserman, Paige Childers, Rylie Cole and Sarah Hampton. Paige Haskins also returns in the midfield.

Number of Returning Starters: 10
Notable Statistics: Mackenzie Maguire is just 5 points away from 200 career points

Returning All-CAC Performers: 4
Mackenzie Maguire, Att., 1st Team in  2016, 2017, and 2018, CAC Rookie of the Year in 2016
Hanna Ashby, GK., 1st Team in 2017
Paige Childers, Mid., 2nd Team in 2018
Paige Haskins, Mid., 2nd Team in 2018

Returning All-Region Performers: 4
Mackenzie Maguire, Att. 1st Team in 2016 and 2018, 2nd Team in 2017
Hanna Ashby, GK., 1st Team in 2017
Paige Haskins, Mid., 2nd Team in 2018
Julia Albert, Att., 2nd Team in 2018

Returning All-Americans: 2
Mackenzie Maguire, Att., 2nd Team in 2018
Hanna Ashby, GK., 3rd Team in 2017

4) The CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT women's lacrosse team returns an impressive veteran contingent from last year's squad, which advanced to the CAC semifinals for the second straight season. Led by head coach Lisa Valentine, the Captains welcome back Sarah Culver, who earned first-team All-Conference and All-Region honors while leading the league with 69 goals. Fellow senior Julia Golden is also back after collecting first-team All-CAC nods, while Kaitlyn Ready returns for her third season between the pipes after setting a program record with 227 saves last year. 

Number of Returning Starters: 5
Notable Statistics: Sarah Culver led the CAC with 69 goals last year, while Kaitlyn Ready posted a league-high 227 saves, which also established a new single-season program record.
Returning All-CAC Performers:
Sarah Culver, A, 2018 1st-Team All-CAC, 2017 2nd-Team All-CAC, 2016 2nd-Team All-CAC
Julia Golden, M, 2018 1st-Team All-CAC
Returning All-Region Performers:
Sarah Culver, A, 2018 1st-Team All-Region, 2017 2nd-Team All-Region
Julia Golden, M, 2018 2nd-Team All-Region

5) The ST. MARY'S COLLEGE OF MARYLAND women's lacrosse is set for their 2019 campaign. The Seahawks look to improve off of their 8-10, 4-4 CAC record from last season. St. Mary's returns 14 players from last season and brings in 10 newcomers to the roster. The roster consists of two All-CAC and All-Region selections.

Caitlin Katchmar, a junior from Phoenix, Maryland, was a First Team All-CAC selection and Second Team All-Region choice last season. Katchmar was an integral member of the St. Mary's midfield last season. The 5-4 midfielder enjoyed a career-best campaign as she was second on the team with 39 goals and 47 draw controls. She was second as well with 12 free-position goals while being fourth with 43 points and fifth with 27 ground balls. Katchmar also added seven caused turnovers and four assists.

Collie, a senior from Glen Arm, Maryland, was a Second Team All-CAC selection and Second Team All-Region choice. Collie had an excellent season last year at attack and put up career-best numbers as well, more than quadrupling her goal-scoring output from two years ago. She paced St. Mary's with 44 goals and 58 points while registering a second-best 14 assists. The 5-6 attacker ranked eighth in the CAC in goals, tied for ninth with 11 free-position goals, and 14th in points. She was also third on the team with 17 caused turnovers and fourth with 28 ground balls while contributing 12 draw controls.

The Seahawks return senior Emma Brown between the pipes this season. Brown, a 5-7 senior collected 179 saves, good for third in the conference.

6) FROSTBURG STATE head coach Hayley Whear welcomes back a dozen returners from last year's squad that posted a pair of CAC wins. Senior Morgan Cavey led the CAC with 4.25 points per game and notched 55 goals in 2018. Sophomore Summer Cavey led the Bobcats and finished seventh in the CAC with 63 draw controls. Senior goalie Abigail McClure returns after leading FSU in with 81 saves last spring.

7) SOUTHERN VIRGINIA returns their core offensive unit including their top-four leading scorers. The Knights will return five starters from the 2017-18 campaign. Southern Virginia looks to build on a young team that improved dramatically last season scoring the most goals in school history and winning three more games than the previous season.