USC Lacrosse Picked to Win MPSF in Federation Coaches' Poll|
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Jan. 24, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- The defending Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) champion USC women's lacrosse team received the maximum totals of 64 points and eight first-place votes to finish at the top of the 2017 Coaches' Poll on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The Women of Troy became the first-ever MPSF lacrosse team to reach the NCAA quarterfinals last year, and set new conference records for wins (20) and winning streak (20 consecutive), along with a No. 5 ranking in the final IWLCA Coaches' poll.
USC's first-place predicted finish is the program's first in its five years of existence. The Trojans were selected to finish second in 2016, and were picked third in both 2014 and 2015. In USC's first year (2013), the coaches picked the Women of Troy to finish seventh, but USC surprised the league with a 5-3 record to claim fourth place and earned a spot in the MPSF tournament.
The conference's coaches voted the teams into an order of finish that largely mirrors last year's actual final standings. Stanford was chosen to finish second (56 points) and received the only other first-place vote. Colorado earned 51 points for a third-place prediction. Oregon (38) and UC Davis (36) were chosen fourth and fifth (sixth and fourth, respectively, at the end of 2016). San Diego State (28) was picked sixth and was followed by California (23), Fresno State (20), and Saint Mary's College (8). Each member of the league will play an eight-team round-robin schedule following the departure of Denver, which moved into the Big East Conference this season.
Last year's NCAA goals-against average leader, junior Gussie Johns (6.04 gaa) begins her third season as USC's netminder and was recently named to the U.S. National Team. The nation's top defense from 2016 (5.80 gaa) also brings back senior defender Nina Kelty (24gb, 14ct) and junior Lydia Sutton (37gb, 28ct). On offense, senior attacker Kylie Drexel (40g, 18a) returns as does the program's all-time leading goal-scorer and 2015 MPSF Player of the Year Michaela Michael (68g, 31a, 107dc).
USC opens the 2017 season on Saturday, Feb. 11, when it hosts Saint Mary's College at McAlister Field for a noon PT game. The league's top-six finishers in the final regular-season standings advanced to the MPSF Championship Tournament, hosted by USC (April 27-30), in Los Angeles.
In 2016, USC (20-1 overall) had a record-setting season, in which the Trojans won the MPSF regular season (9-0) and tournament championships. The Women of Troy earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA championship and advanced to the quarterfinal where they fell in overtime to Syracuse. It was the furthest any team from the MPSF had ever gone in the NCAA tourney. Fifth-year head coach Lindsey Munday was named MPSF Coach of the Year for the second straight season and reached the 50-win plateau in her fourth year at the helm (51-26 overall).
For more information on the USC women's lacrosse team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCTrojansLax.