Alma, Mich. - The Alma College women's lacrosse team is slated to finish seventh in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association this season, according to the conference's annual preseason coaches poll which was released today (Wednesday, Feb. 7).
Alma received 24 points after finishing last season with an overall record of 8-8 and a conference record of 2-6. The Scots are placed ahead of Trine and Olivet, the two MIAA teams Alma claimed victories over last season.
Calvin is picked to be the conference's top team with 63 points and seven first-place votes after defeating Hope in the title game in 2017 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Albion and Hope are tied for second place with 51 points, though the Britons received two first-place votes.
Saint Mary's sits in fourth place, followed by Adrian and Kalamazoo. Trine and Olivet round out the list in eighth and ninth place, respectively.
The team graduated its top two scorers from last season, Darby Kahler and Katie Rogers. It does return its second-leading point getter in senior Shelby Frazer (Holt, Mich. / Holt), who tied for the team lead in goals with 24. Sophomore Olivia Benoit (Grosse Pointe, Mich. / Grosse Pointe North) and senior Brianna Soriano (San Diego, Calif. / Serra) are also key returners for the squad in the midfield. Both players put up 15 points last season.
Also returning is sophomore goalie Allie Ray (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. / Comsewogue). Ray finished first in the MIAA in save percentage (51.7 percent) as a freshman, second in saves (151) and third in goals allowed on average (10.76).
Third-year head coach Ashley Johnson will welcome nine newcomers to the team this season, consisting of eight freshmen and one sophomore. MacKenzie Chevalier (Fraser, Mich. / International Academy of Macomb), Courtney Hartnagle (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek), Brook Jonassen (Fruitport, Mich. / Fruitport), Naomi Oravitz (Saginaw, Mich. / Heritage), Ashley Dooley, Savana Shellman (New Boston, Mich. / Huron), Lydia Miller (Mt. Pleasant, Mich. / Mt. Pleasant), Sam DeBoer (Rockford, Mich. / Rockford) and Alyssa Gall (Richmond, Mich. / Richmond). Alma also welcomes back senior Kira Reading (Holly, Mich. / International Academy West), who played as a freshman and sophomore.
The Scots begin the season with a home matchup against Carroll University (WI) on Saturday, Feb. 24 before playing all seven of its games in March on the road. Four of Alma's six April games are at Bahlke Field, beginning with Calvin on Tuesday, April 3 and ending with Olivet on Saturday, April 28.
MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Calvin College - 63 points (7 first-place votes)
t2. Albion College - 51 points (2 first-place votes)
t2. Hope College - 51 points
4. Saint Mary's College - 46 points
5. Adrian College - 34 points
6. Kalamazoo College - 31 points
7. Alma College - 24 points
8. Trine University - 16 points
9. Olivet College - 8 points
Contact: Zach Russo, Assistant Sports Information Director