North Carolina Tops Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Women's Preseason Top 20


Already the unquestioned No. 1, North Carolina got even more talented in the offseason. (Pictured: Tar Heels attacker Scottie Rose Growney)

Already the unquestioned No. 1 team at the end of the shortened 2020 season, North Carolina got even better in the offseason.

Head coach Jenny Levy added Kerrigan Miller and Katie Bourque as transfers to fortify the midfield, strengthening the team between the 30s and positioning the Tar Heels as the No. 1 team in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Women’s Preseason Top 20.

Miller and Bourque join an offense headlined by Katie Hoeg — the program’s all-time points leader back for a fifth year — and Jamie Ortega, two of the top offensive talents in the ACC. Scottie Rose Growney elevated her game to another level in 2020, further enhancing the offense. Hoeg and Ortega were named US Lacrosse Magazine Preseason All-Americans, with the latter also earning US Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Attacker of the Year honors.

Defensively, the Tar Heels ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 8.29 goals per game. Emma Trenchard is the US Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Defender of the Year, anchoring that unit in front of goalie Taylor Moreno, who is hard to beat when on her game.

Upstart Notre Dame checks in at No. 2 after a 7-0 start to 2020 that included a key win over Northwestern. Coach Chris Halfpenny welcomes Maryland transfer Emma Schettig on defense, but much of this Irish team is the same as last spring — which means Notre Dame may finally have the staying power it’s hoped to achieve in recent seasons.

Loyola, Syracuse and Stony Brook rank Nos. 3, 4, and 5, respectively.

Continue below to see the rest of the top 20. Rankings are compiled by US Lacrosse Magazine staff and contributors in consultation with college coaches.

Nike / US Lacrosse
Division I Women's Preseason Top 20

1. North Carolina
2. Notre Dame
3. Loyola
4. Syracuse
5. Stony Brook
6. Northwestern
7. Florida
8. Maryland
9. Michigan
10. Richmond
11. Penn
12. Denver
13. James Madison
14. USC
15. Duke
16. Dartmouth
17. Boston College
18. Virginia
19. UMass
20. Virginia Tech

Also considered (alphabetical order): Colorado, Hofstra, Navy, Penn State, Stanford

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