Denison emerged as the favorite in the 2015 North Coast Athletic
Conference women’s lacrosse preseason poll, based on
balloting from the league coaches.
The Big Red, which captured the program's ninth NCAC Tournament Championship last year, and third in the last four years after defeating Wittenberg in the championship game, earned five of nine available first-place votes for 76 points. Allegheny, which tied the NCAC record for wins in a season (15) in 2014, was selected to finish second in the poll after garnering the remaining four first-place votes and 72 points. Wittenberg, which posted its third-straight perfect NCAC regular season and captured the program's first-ever league championship in 2014, finished third after totaling 65 points.
Wooster finished fourth in the poll with 45 points, while Oberlin (44), Kenyon (43), Ohio Wesleyan (26), DePauw (25) and Hiram (9) round out the pre-season poll.
The Denison offense returns its top two goal scorers and four of its top five leading point producers from a year ago, including reigning NCAC Newcomer of the Year, sophomore Claire Ludlow (Saugatuck, MI/East Grand Rapids), who recorded 50 total points (45g, 5a). Seniors Whitney Powel (Shaker Heights, OH/Westminster School (Conn.)) (21g, 17a) and Erin Keller (Sewickley, PA/Sewickley Academy) (29g, 4a) along with junior Carol Allen (Nashville, TN/Ensworth) (39g, 14a) join Ludlow as key returners this year after combining for 174 total points and 134 of the Big Red’s 263 goals in 2014. Head coach Amanda Daniels, who was named NCAC Coach of the Year in 2014, returns to the sidelines to lead the Big Red this spring. Daniels guided Denison to a 15-4 overall record in her first season in Granville and the program's 16th NCAA appearance.
Denison leads all NCAC squads with 17 conference championships in 30 seasons (1985-1994, ‘96 ,1999-‘01, ‘06 and 2011-12). Wooster has collected six conference titles (2002-04, ‘07, 2009-10), while Oberlin has earned three (1995, 1997-98), Ohio Wesleyan has garnered two (2005 and ‘08) while Kenyon (2013) and Wittenberg (2014) each have one.
Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.
2015 North Coast Athletic