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@ASunWLax Season Begins This Weekend; KSU, Detroit In Action

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Kennesaw State and Detroit begin 2015 Lacrosse season Saturday on the road.

Original Release

Follow @ASunWLax

MACON, Ga. – The 2015 Atlantic Sun Women’s Lacrosse season kicks off this Saturday with Kennesaw State and Detroit the first two teams in action. This year the Atlantic Sun has expanded to eight teams as Furman, Mercer and Old Dominion join the league.

The Owls are headed to Elon, N.C. to take on former A-Sun conference member Elon this Saturday at 1 p.m. Kennesaw State has some experience on the team coming back with 14 returners, most of which saw big minutes a year ago. Head Coach Kristina Llanes will look to build on that as the Owls try to take a step forward this season.

Detroit takes on Ohio State in the 2015 season opener for both teams. The Titans went to the A-Sun Championship final last season before falling to Jacksonville. They return a solid core, which includes six members on the Preseason All-Conference team, the most of any school this year. Ohio State moves to the Big Ten and was picked third in the inaugural Big Ten Preseason Poll. The game is set to begin at 4 p.m.

What’s Happening in the A-Sun

– Jacksonville, the defending A-Sun Champion, was voted as the Preseason favorite in the coaches poll. The Dolphins garnered six of the eight first place votes. Jacksonville defeated Detroit in last year’s championship final.
– League newcomer Old Dominion made a splash in the Preseason coaches’ poll as the Monarchs were picked second by the league’s head coaches. They also had two players named to the Preseason All-Conference team, the only incoming team to have players selected.
– Furman begins its inaugural season of Division I Women’s Lacrosse this season in the A-Sun. The Paladins will be a young team this season, with 24 of 26 players being freshman or sophomores.
– Jacksonville’s Taylor McCord and Detroit’s Lexie McCormick earned the Preseason Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards. McCord led the league in points last year, while McCormick ranked nationally in saves per game.
– Mercer is set to begin its inaugural season in Women’s Lacrosse in 2015. The Bears are one of two brand new programs in the league this year. Similar to Furman, Mercer’s roster features freshman and sophomores looking to gain experience at the highest level.

Team-by-Team Breakdown

Detroit – Follow on Twitter: @DetroitWL
Record: 0-0; 0-0
Next Two Matches: at Ohio State (1/31; 4 p.m.); at Notre Dame (2/15; 12 p.m.)
2014 Record: 5-13 ; 3-2
– Preseason All-Conference selections Kylie Birney and Tessa Keuler combined for 48 goals last season for the Titans. Both had a shooting percentage over .400 for the season. They are the top two returning goal scorers.
– Lexie McCormick, the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, played 988 minutes last season. She made 180 saves with a save percentage of .463, best in the A-Sun last season. McCormick is one of two goalies returning this year who averaged over 10 saves per game in 2014.
Last Season vs. Ohio State: L, 18-3 (2/7/2014)

Furman – Follow on Twitter: @FUWlax
Record: 0-0; 0-0
Next Two Matches: at Presbyterian (2/18; 3 p.m.); vs. Gardner-Webb (2/20; 5 p.m.)
2014 Record: N/A; 2015 First Year in Division I
– Head Coach Rachel Whitten, who was the associate head coach at Denver prior to joining Furman, has 10 players from the state of Maryland on her roster. Several are among the 12 sophomores on this squad.
– The Paladins were picked to finish fifth among the eight teams in the A-Sun this season. To qualify for the A-Sun Championship, you have to finish in the top-six this season.

Howard – Follow on Twitter: @HUBisonSports
Record: 0-0; 0-0
Next Two Matches: vs. UDC (2/21; 12 p.m.); vs. LIU (2/27; 6 p.m.)
2014 Record: 1-14 ; 0-5
– Jaymie Cox is the top returning goal scorer for the Bison this season. She tallied 25 goals and 31 total points in 2014. She is on the 2015 Atlantic Sun Preseason Watch List.
– Darieal Wimbley was Howard’s other Watch List choice entering the 2015 campaign. She ranked fourth in draw controls and fifth in ground balls last season. Wimbley also caused eight turnovers in 2014 season.
Last Season vs. LIU: L, 20-9 (3/21/2014)

Jacksonville – Follow on Twitter: @JUwomenslax
Record: 0-0; 0-0
Next Two Matches: vs. Florida (2/11; 7 p.m.); vs. Central Connecticut State (2/14; 12 p.m.)
2014 Record: 14-6 ; 5-0
– Senior Taylor McCord was voted the Preseason Player of the Year. McCord led the league in assists (27) and total points (65) a season ago. She was a first team All-Conference selection last year and has over 100 career points in only two seasons with Jacksonville.
– Brittney Orashen is the 2014 Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year. She caused 28 turnovers and posted 50 draw controls. Earned first team All-Conference and All-Tournament team honors in 2014.
Last Season vs. Florida: L, 21-5 (2/12/2014)

Kennesaw State – Follow on Twitter: @KSUOwlsLAX
Record: 0-0; 0-0
Next Two Matches: at Elon (1/31; 1 p.m.); at Vanderbilt (2/7; 2 p.m.)
2014 Record: 1-12 ; 1-4
– Sydney Farwick is one of the top returners for the Owls this season. She is a Preseason All-Conference selection and led the Owls with 14 assists last year. Her 42 points ranked her second on the team.
– Sophomore Attacker Olivia Hokanson led the league with 43 goals last season. Hokanson and Farwick combined for 71 goals in 2014, third best duo in the A-Sun. KSU’s third leading scorer, Haley O’Donoghue, is also back giving the Owls a formidable attack entering 2015.
Last Season vs. Elon: L, 18-7 (4/13/2014)

Mercer – Follow on Twitter: @MercerWLAX
Record: 0-0; 0-0
Next Two Matches: vs. Delaware St. (2/20; 4 p.m.); vs. St. Francis (Pa.) (3/3; 6 p.m.)
2014 Record: N/A ; 2015 First Year in Division I
– Head coach Eve Levinson will lead the Mercer Bears into its inaugural season of Women’s Lacrosse in 2015. The veteran head coach was most recently at Penn State Abington in Division III.
– The Bears roster features players from 16 different states. Fiona Stockton and Lindsey Zeltwanger were tabbed 2015 Atlantic Sun Conference Watch List members as they enter the first season at the Division I level. Mercer was voted seventh in the coaches poll.

Old Dominion – Follow on Twitter: @ODULacrosse
Record: 0-0; 0-0
Next Two Matches: at Gardner-Webb (2/14; 1 p.m.); vs. Longwood (2/18; 4 p.m.)
2014 Record: 3-13 (Independent in 2014)
– The Monarchs return three players who scored over 20 goals last season. Christina Rea led the team with 29 goals last season. Old Dominion begins play in the A-Sun this year. They were voted second in the preseason coaches poll.
– Ashmore Standing and Jessica Liberty were voted to the Preseason All-Conference team. They combined for 47 goals in 2014. Standing added 25 ground balls and 15 draw controls.
Last Season vs. Longwood: L, 16-13 (3/13/2014)

Stetson – Follow on Twitter: @StetsonLacrosse
Record: 0-0; 0-0
Next Two Matches: Exhibition vs. Florida Club (2/7; 3 p.m.); Exhibition vs. Florida Southern (2/7; 5:50 p.m.)
2014 Record: 2-16 ; 2-3
– The Hatters were picked fourth in the A-Sun Preseason Poll. Erin Busch and Christina Wittmeier took home the Facebook fan-polls during the preseason. Christina Loya is the team’s top returning scorer after she netted 23 goals in 2014 as a freshman.
– Junior goalie Caili Guilday led the A-Sun with 210 total saves and 11.67 saves per game. She also ranked third in save percentage at .436 for the season.

Johannes Schneider
Coordinator of Media Relations
@ASun_Johannes

Atlantic Sun Conference
3370 Vineville Ave., Suite 108-B
Macon, GA 31204
office 478/474-3394
mobile 803/370-3355
fax 478/474-4272
www.atlanticsun.org

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