The York College women's lacrosse team will open the 2018 season as the No. 8 team in NCAA Division III according to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association, which released its preseason poll on Monday, Jan. 29.
The Spartans enter 2018 on the heels of a 16-4 season in 2017, which included an 8-0 record in the Capital Athletic Conference. That mark included a 10-6 win over Salisbury, which was York's first win over the Sea Gulls in program history. As the conference regular-season champion, York appeared in the CAC Tournament Championship for the fifth time in school history before capturing two NCAA Division III Tournament wins en route to reaching the national quarterfinals.
Five All-Capital Athletic Conference picks are returning under head coach Jen Muston, who was named the CAC Coach of the Year for the third time last spring. The all-conference returners include IWLCA First-Team All-American and CAC Player of the Year Nicole Clauter and CAC Rookie of the Year Meghan Fox. Regan Cook, another freshman, was named to the All-CAC First Team, while Melissa Meehling and goalie Charlotte Wright were second-team All-CAC selections.
Additionally, seven of the top eight goal scorers will be back for York, led by Fox's 39 goals, Cook's 28 goals and junior Skye Slater's 22 goals. Clauter and Katherine Burk, who started all 20 games, will help anchor a Spartan defense that allowed 5.32 goals in CAC games a year ago, along with Wright back in net.
Seven foes listed on York's 2018 schedule joined the Spartans in the preseason top 25, including top-ranked Gettysburg, which claimed 19 of the 25 available first-place votes. The Spartans will host the Bullets on March 21. York will also take on No. 4 Trinity (Connecticut) in a rematch of last year's NCAA Elite Eight matchup, No. 7 Franklin & Marshall and No. 13 Messiah at Kinsley Field. Top road tests include CAC battles with No. 9 Salisbury and No. 17 Mary Washington. York will take on No. 14 Catholic in non-conference action in Washington.