HAVERFORD, Pa. - After reaching the Centennial Conference playoffs and achieving a national ranking a season ago, the Haverford College women's lacrosse team is predicted for a return trip to the postseason by a vote of the Centennial Conference head coaches. The Fords were picked fourth in the annual preseason poll, amassing 57 total voting points.
Two-time defending national champion and national No. 1 Gettysburg topped the prognostication, taking home 81 total votes, and all nine possible first place votes. As coaches are excluded from voting for their own squads, No. 7 Franklin & Marshall received the other first place tally, taking home 73 total voting points. The five conference playoff teams from a year ago were all picked to repeat the feat, as Dickinson was ranked third (58 total voting points), and Washington College trailed the Fords with 51 voting points.
Muhlenberg (44 points), Swarthmore (29 points), McDaniel (27 points), Ursinus (21 points), and Bryn Mawr (9 points), were picked to finish sixth through 10th, respectively.
Haverford will be looking for its second consecutive trip to the postseason under second year head coach Katie Zichelli. The Fords capped last season with 12 wins, the most since a 13-5 record during the 2013 campaign. In Zichelli's first year at the helm, the Fords spent time in the national spotlight, with consecutive rankings in the national coaches' poll and four straight weeks receiving votes.
The Fords return a group of accomplished leaders looking to get the job done. That group includes IWLCA All-Metro Region selections defender Anna Meyers and forward Rina Rosnow as well as leading goal scorer and second-team All-Centennial Conference selection forward Allie Gibbons. Entering her senior season, Gibbons ranks 15th in Haverford history in goals with 109 and 18th in points with 143.
Haverford begins the season at home on Saturday, February 23 against Christopher Newport. Opening draw is slated for noon. Last season, the Fords made the trek to Hampton Roads, dispatching the Captains in overtime.