Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/11/15
From Press Release
The defending Big Ten Tournament champion Penn State women’s lacrosse program earned a preseason rank of No. 6 by Inside Lacrosse and had four Nittany Lions named to IL’s preseason All-America teams on Thursday.
Penn State is ranked sixth according to Inside Lacrosse’s 2016 Face-Off Yearbook. The only teams ahead of the Nittany Lions are Maryland, North Carolina, Syracuse, Duke and Northwestern.
Junior Abby Smucker (Bel Air, Md.) was named to IL’s Preseason All-America First Team as a defender. Last season, Smucker was named the Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Seniors Madison Cyr (Westminster, Md.), Jenna Mosketti (Fallston, Md.) and Emi Smith (Denver, Colo.) earned spots on the third team.
Two additional Nittany Lions garnered honorable mention: junior Steph Lazo (Stevensville, Md.) and sophomore Katie O’Donnell (Henderson). The six total Lions named are tied-second among all teams with Florida, trailing only North Carolina (9).
In 2016, Penn State will face 10 teams ranked in the Top 25 by ranked by Inside Lacrosse. In addition to No. 1 Maryland and No. 5 Northwestern, Penn State will play No. 9 Virginia, No. 12 Loyola, No. 13 Princeton, No. 15 Stanford, No. 17 Ohio State, No. 18 Johns Hopkins, No. 21 James Madison and No. 23 Cornell.
The Nittany Lions return eight starters from its championship team anchored by Smith, who was the 2015 Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year. Lazo (41 goals) and Cyr (38) are the team’s leading returning scorers on offense. The Lions will be led by recently named co-captains Ally Heavens (Garnet Valley),, Erika Spilker (Severna Park, Md.), Mosketti, and Smucker.
Penn State’s schedule opens with a preseason contest vs. Towson on Saturday, Feb. 6 in University Park before beginning the regular season at Lehigh on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. PSU’s home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20 vs. Duquesne at 3 p.m.