GENEVA, N.Y.—The William Smith College lacrosse team is ranked fourth nationally in Division III according to the preseason rankings released by Lacrosse Magazine yesterday.
Coach Pat Genovese’s squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals last season, posting a 16-3 record. The Herons return seven starters from that squad that captured the UCAA Championship with an unblemished 10-0 record, including the UCAA tournament.
Senior attacker Gretchen Lasda (West Genesee/Camillus, N.Y.) is the team’s top returning scorer. A 2003 IWLCA second-team All-Region selection, she scored 24 goals and assisted on a team-best 30 in 19 starts. Lasda also led the team in ground balls with 71.
Senior goalie Rebecca Splain (Middlebury Union/Middlebury, Vt.), also a second-team All-Region selection last season, will anchor the defense. She finished seventh in the nation in goals against average (6.51) and was second in the conference in save percentage (.568).
Middlebury is first in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings, followed by defending champion Amherst, and the College of New Jersey. Three other UCAA schools earned a spot in the top-20: No. 18 Union, No. 19 Hamilton, and No. 20 Skidmore.
In addition to conference foes, William Smith’s 2004 schedule features three other ranked teams. The Herons will tangle with No. 13 Franklin & Marshall on March 17, in West Palm Beach, Fla., No. 12 Ithaca on April 4, in Geneva, and No. 11 Cortland on April 20, also in Geneva.