GRAND LAKE, Colo. – The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association released its first poll of 2013 on Tuesday and Salisbury University will open as the second-ranked team, the same spot it ended up last season.
Head Coach Jim Nestor's squad will open the regular season right behind Trinity (Conn.) College, which defeated the Sea Gulls in last season's national championship game, 8-7. Coming off the program's first national title, the Bantams received 18 first-place votes and 392 points. On their heels are the Sea Gulls, who garnered the remaining two top-spot votes and 377 points.
Sitting at No. 3 is the State University of New York at Cortland, which was awarded 359 points. By the thinnest of margins, Gettysburg College is at No. 4 with 325 points, one point ahead of Middlebury College, which rounds out the top five.
Just as it was at the conclusion of last season, the Capital Athletic Conference is represented in this poll by three member institutions. Following Salisbury is York (Pa.) College at No. 9, with the University of Mary Washington behind the Spartans at No. 13.
The preseason poll is nearly a mirror image of the schedule that Nestor has put together for his Sea Gull squad, as Salisbury will square off against eight of the teams ranked in this preseason poll. The Sea Gulls will face SUNY Cortland, No. 6 The College of New Jersey, York, No. 10 Messiah College, No. 11 the Catholic University of America, Mary Washington, No. 14 Franklin & Marshall College and No. 15 Washington and Lee University.
With key players at each position returning from last year's team, Salisbury is poised to spend another season near the top of the IWLCA poll again this season. That quest begins on Saturday, Feb. 23, as the Sea Gulls host former conference foe Stevenson University. The Sea Gulls hope to bookend their season with a Stevenson connection, as the Mustangs will be hosting this season's national championship weekend, in Owings Mills. The road to the national championship begins in a little over two weeks, with the season-opening contest slated to begin at 3 p.m., at Sea Gull Stadium.