CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has released its 2019 women's lacrosse preseason coaches poll, with the Cortland Red Dragons voted No. 1 with 77 points. Just behind at No. 2 is Brockport with 72 points, while Geneseo is ranked third with 68 points.
The Cortland women's lacrosse program captured its 20th-consecutive SUNYAC championship with a victory over Brockport in last year's title game. In addition to their conference championship, the Red Dragons finished 2018 16-5 overall, along with an 8-0 record in conference play. In their bid for an NCAA DIII Championship, Cortland's season came to an end after losing to Amherst 7-10 in the second round. Last year's women's lacrosse team included Offensive Player of the Year Lexie Meager, who returns for her junior season, along with Defensive Player of the Year Hailey Dobbins, who enters her senior year. The 2018 squad also featured five players who were bestowed SUNYAC All-Conference honors. Kelly Orr, the 2015 SUNYAC Coach of the Year, returns for her fifth season as head coach at Cortland. In each of her seasons at the helm, Cortland has made four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a national championship in 2015 and a "Final Four" showing in 2016. Cortland has won 21 SUNYAC titles in program history.
Brockport enters 2019 seeking its first conference title in program history. The Golden Eagles came close to achieving the feat last year, but fell short to the Red Dragons in the 2018 conference title game. Overall, the team finished 9-9, with a 6-2 conference record. Besides their impressive run to the conference championship, the Golden Eagles also had six players named to SUNYAC All-Conference teams. Head coach Stephen Wagner, the 2016 SUNYAC Coach of the Year, is back at the helm for Brockport in 2019. Wagner is responsible for helping Brockport earn a No. 9 ranking in the nation in 2016, the highest of his time with the Golden Eagles. In 2016, the team also won 11 consecutive games, a Brockport record. Under Wagner's leadership, Brockport made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in 2016 and 2017.
After bowing out in the 2018 SUNYAC Tournament semifinal game to Brockport, Geneseo hopes to advance further in this year's tournament and take home the conference trophy for the first time in program history. The Knights finished 2018 with a 13-4 record, and went 6-2 in conference play. Several players on last year's team were recognized for their individual performances - nine of them went on to receive SUNYAC All-Conference honors, and Hannah Marafioti, now entering her sophomore years with the Knights, was awarded Rookie of the Year. Geneseo will enter 2019 led by head coach Carly Ritchlin, who was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year last season (she also won the award in 2013). Following the 2018 campaign, Rictchlin's record stood at 175-75 with the Knights, making her the winningest coach in the 20-year history of the Geneseo women's lacrosse program.
2019 Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
- Cortland - 77
- Brockport - 72
- Geneseo - 68
- Oswego - 59
- Oneonta - 49
- Buffalo State - 40
- New Paltz - 31
- Potsdam - 25
- Fredonia - 18
- Plattsburgh - 11