SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Furman Paladins were picked to finish first for the Southern Conference women’s lacrosse 2019 season by the league’s six head coaches. The coaches also picked a 12-member preseason All-Southern Conference team.
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams or student-athletes. Four of the six teams were represented on the preseason All-SoCon team.
Furman earned a total of 21 points in the preseason poll, receiving three first-place votes. The Paladins placed two on the all-conference team, attacker Abby Shields and defender Morgan Franklin. Shields, a senior, led the 8-11 Paladins in points (59), goals (35), assists (24), shots (77) and shots on goal (64). Franklin led the team in ground balls (25) and was second on the team in draw controls (55).
Detroit Mercy came in just behind the Paladins with two first-place votes and 20 total points. The Titans are led on offense once again by redshirt junior Kaitlyn Wandelt, who led the league in goals per game (3.44), points per game (4.61) and goals (62) in 2018 and was named the SoCon Offensive Player of the Year. The midfielder also led the Titans in points (83), draw controls (77), shots (136) and shots on goal (109). She is joined by fellow teammate and attacker Morgan Girardi, who led Detroit in free position goals (11). Joining Wandelt and Girardi is attacker Lexie Kinmond, who led the Titans in assists (38) and game winning goals (2).
2018 regular-season champion, Central Michigan, which leads the way with five preseason All-SoCon selections, was slotted to finished third with 18 points. The Chippewas have representative at every position. Senior goalkeeper Dominique Hamman ranked third in save percentage (.451) in the SoCon last season while making 120 saves and recording nine wins and six losses. Fellow senior Natalie Karlen finished the 2018 season with 33 points with 23 assists and a team-leading 56 points. She is joined by fellow attacker senior Anna Schoonover, who led the league in draw controls per game last season (4.22) while scoring 35 goals with 10 assists, totaling 45 points. Midfielder Jocelyne Lemay finishing her 2018 campaign tied for first in the league for game-winning goals (3), contributed a team-leading 36 goals and two assists to the Chippewas’ offensive efforts. Logan Halvorson earned preseason all-conference honors on defense after leading the team in ground balls (42).
Mercer, which went 9-10 overall during its 2018 season, and won the inaugural SoCon Championship title, came in fourth with 17 points and received one first-place vote. The Bears placed two defenders on the all-conference team in Audrey Robertson and Michaela Lucas. Robertson led the team in ground balls (54) while Lucas led the team in shot percentage (1.000).
Wofford and Delaware State rounded out the poll in a tie preseason for fifth with seven points each.
The 2019 Southern Conference women’s lacrosse season gets under way Saturday, Feb. 9, when Furman and Mercer open their respective seasons. Detroit Mercy travels to Ohio State on Sunday, Feb. 10, while Central Michigan opens at Michigan on Feb. 15, Wofford and Furman travel to Presbyterian and Davidson, respectively, on Feb. 16 and Delaware State opens its season up against Division II Wilmington University on Feb. 17.
2019 Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll
Team (1st-place votes) Total
1. Furman (3) 21
2. Detroit Mercy (2) 20
3. Central Michigan 18
4. Mercer (1) 17
T5. Wofford 7
T5. Delaware State 7
2019 Preseason All-Southern Conference team
A Natalie Karlen, Central Michigan
A Anna Schoonover, Central Michigan
A Lexie Kinmond, Detroit Mercy
A Abby Shields, Furman
M Jocelyne Lemay, Central Michigan
M Morgan Girardi, Detroit Mercy
M Kaitlyn Wandelt, Detroit Mercy
D Logan Halvorson, Central Michigan
D Morgan Franklin, Furman
D Michaela Lucas, Mercer
D Audrey Robertson, Mercer
GK Dominique Hamman, Central Michigan