SPARKS, MD - Florida Southern College women's lacrosse has been tabbed as the No. 2 team in the country in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division II Preseason Top 20. The announcement came from US Lacrosse Magazine on Thursday afternoon.
The Moccasins are coming off a national runner-up finish last season after winning the NCAA Division II national title in 2016. Defending champion Adelphi was selected as the top team in the country, and the Mocs and Panthers will meet in an early-season showdown on Feb. 17 at Moccasin Field at the all-new Barnett Athletic Complex. Florida Southern was joined in the preseason top 20 by fellow Sunshine State Conference members Florida Tech (No. 8) and Rollins (No. 14).
A total of five of the Mocs' 2018 opponents appeared in the top 20, as Queens (No. 5) and Mercy (No. 12) also earned preseason recognition. McKendree, another one of Florida Southern's regular-season opponents, was one of seven other squads to earn votes for the preseason top 20.
The Moccasins return the vast majority of last year's starters, including all-Americans Meghan O'Brien, Emily Santoli, Dani Bursinger and Meghan Vadala. Santoli is the reigning SSC Player of the Year and earned IWLCA National Midfielder of the Year honors as a junior.
Florida Southern opens the 2018 campaign with a pair of road games at Catawba (Feb. 10) and Tusculum (Feb. 11). The road contest at Tusculum was originally scheduled as a road game at Mars Hill. The Mocs open their home slate with Adelphi at 12 p.m. on Feb. 17. The game against the Panthers marks the first-ever on-campus varsity lacrosse game in Florida Southern College history.