MELBOURNE, Fla. – In the inaugural year for Sunshine State Conference women’s lacrosse, league coaches selected Florida Southern College as the preseason favorite.
The University of Tampa was picked fourth as it enters its second year of existence. Florida Southern received 16 votes and four first place votes, edging Rollins College for the top spot in the poll.
Rollins garnered 13 points and the remaining first place vote. Third-place Saint Leo University received 10 votes, followed by UT and then the Florida Institute of Technology, which garnered five votes.
Each Sunshine State Conference women’s lacrosse program has a recent beginning. Florida Southern and Saint Leo both enter their fourth year of competition. Tampa started in 2014, while 2015 marks the first season of competition for Florida Tech. Rollins’ inaugural season was 2008.
The Spartans turned in a seven win campaign in its first season, winning five of their last eight contests. Head coach Kelly Gallagher returns seven starters from 2014, including Emilie Barbosa. The sophomore netted 26 goals and 10 assists. Fellow scorers Amanda Voges, Maggie Griffo and Jackie Martin also return.
Florida Southern finished 2014 with a 16-2 overall record. The Moccasins were ranked No. 10 in the final Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll. Florida Southern swept SSC competition last year, defeating Tampa, Rollins, and Saint Leo.
Rollins, 8-8 in 2014, posted only two wins against SSC competition last season. Both wins came against Tampa. Saint Leo, 10-7 last season, also defeated Tampa and added a win over Rollins to end the season.
Sunshine State Conference play opens up on February 8, with Rollins College hosting the University of Tampa. The SSC Conference tournament begins April 24 as the regional tournament starts May 9. The NCAA tournament is slated for May 16.
2015 SSC WOMEN’S LACROSSE PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Rank School Points (FPV)
1. Florida Southern 16 (4)
2. Rollins 13 (1)
3. Saint Leo 10
4. Tampa 6
5. Florida Tech 5
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