NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Westminster College women's lacrosse team, under the tutelage of first-year head coach Bethany Snider, returns 14 players from a team that won the inaugural Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) women's lacrosse championship last season.
"Every team, each year is different." Snider said. "We're going to see a whole new group of first-years this year, not to mention the same across the board with the rest of the teams in the conference. With that being said, we have a lot of talent returning this year. I expect our juniors and seniors to really step up and help lead those first-years, as well as utilize their experience from last year to carry us back to tournament play. Obviously, the dynamic has changed a little bit but we're still gunning for that PAC championship spot. That should be our goal every year."
In 2019, the Titans finished with an overall record of 15-3 and an undefeated 7-0 record in the PAC, both school records. The Titans captured their first NCAA Tournament win, defeating Notre Dame of Maryland, in their first NCAA Tournament appearance.
Leading the returners is senior Bria Braddock (Beaver Falls, PA / Blackhawk), who captured PAC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019, as well as All-PAC First Team recognition, her third all-conference nod. Last year, Braddock helped the Titans yield a league-low 8.73 goals against average. She was second on the team in goals (62) and points (82). Braddock finished sixth in ground balls (5.67) and eighth in caused turnovers (3.39) in the 2019 NCAA Division III rankings.
Also returning for Westminster is 2019 All-PAC Second Team selection senior Michaela Hays (Blairsville, PA / Blairsville), who tied for second on the team with 21 assists to go along with 47 total points. Rounding out the all-conference returners are All-PAC Honorable Mentions senior Brooke Lyczek (Cranberry Twp, PA / Seneca Valley), junior Marisa Keller (Canonsburg, PA / Canon-McMillan) and sophomore goalkeeper Emma Bradley (South Fayette, PA / South Fayette).
Rounding out the returning players are seniors Cortlynn Douds (Darlington, PA / Blackhawk), Emily Marcus (South Park, PA / South Park) and Romie Schweickert (Hiram, OH / Crestwood), juniors Forest Mills (Clarion, PA / Clarion Area) and Matalyn Holland (Pittsburgh, PA / Shaler Area) and sophomores Katie Cipriani (Hermitage, PA / Kennedy Catholic), Rachel Rohe (Carnegie, PA / Chartiers Valley), Lexi Radinick (South Fayette, PA / South Fayette) and Magen Polczynski (Irwin, PA / Norwin). Polczynski had 22 goals and recorded 29 points for the 2019 season.
The Titans were picked to finish second out of eight teams with 42 points in the PAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. Westminster received two first-place votes. Braddock, Keller and first-year Ava Krensky (Bethesda, MD / Walter Johnson) were named to the league's Players to Watch list.
The women will play a full round robin conference schedule in 2020. The league's four-team championship tournament is scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday, April 29 and May 2. The winner of the PAC Championship Tournament will receive the league's automatic-qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.
This spring, the PAC will be among 32 conferences granted a Pool A berth to the annual Division III Championship. The 44-team field for this year's Division III Championship will be announced on Monday, May 4. First and second round games are slated for Saturday-Sunday, May 9-10.
The Titans' 2020 season will commence on Saturday, February 15 when they travel to Gambier, Ohio to take on non-conference opponent Kenyon College in both teams' season openers at 12 p.m.
*The PAC contributed to this release