Denison emerged as the favorite in the 2016 North Coast Athletic Conference women’s lacrosse preseason poll, based on balloting from the league coaches.
The Big Red, who captured the program’s second-straight and 10th overall NCAC Tournament Title last year, by defeating Oberlin in the championship game, earned six of nine available first-place votes for 76 points. Wooster, which posted its second 13 win season in the last three years and finished with a 7-1 conference record in 2015, was selected to finish second in the poll after garnering one of the remaining three first-place votes and 64 points. Oberlin, which advanced to the NCAC Tournament Championship game for the first time in 15 years and finished 2015 with double-digit wins for just the second time since 2000, was selected to finish third after earning a first-place vote and 58 total points. Wittenberg, which posted its fourth-straight perfect NCAC regular season and captured the programs second-straight league championship in 2015, finished fourth after receiving the final first-place vote and 54 points. Kenyon finished fifth in the poll with 53 points, followed by Allegheny (38), DePauw (30), Ohio Wesleyan (23) and Hiram (9).
The Denison offense returns its top goal scorer and three of its top-five leading point producers from a year ago, led by junior Claire Ludlow (Saugatuck, MI/East Grand Rapids). Ludlow, a two-time, all-NCAC performer, recorded 69 total points (48g, 21a) a season ago and is joined by senior Carol Allen (Nashville, TN/Ensworth) (32g, 13a) and junior Reid Hirschey (Edina, MN/Edina) (26g, 6a) as key returners this year after combining for 149 total points. In all, the Big Red returns 253 of the team’s 394 total points including 186 goals from 2015. Head coach Amanda Daniels returns to the sidelines for her third season to lead the Big Red this spring. Daniels’ first two years at Denison have resulted in back-to-back NCAC Tournament championships, two NCAA Division III Tournament appearances and a 24-12 overall record.
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 (2005 and ‘08) and Wittenberg (2014-15) each have garnered two and Kenyon (2013) has 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.
2016 North Coast Athletic Conference