The William Smith College lacrosse team will begin the 2020 season ranked No. 10 in the USLacrosse Magazine preseason poll. The four-time defending Liberty League Champions are coming off a 17-3 season that included the program’s 20th NCAA tournament appearance.
William Smith will face three teams ranked in the top 10 this season. The team will travel to No. 5 York on March 7, face No. 3 Salisbury on March 17 in Bradenton, Fla., and close out the regular season at home against No. 8 St. John Fisher.
After a 2-2 start, the 2019 Herons rattled off 15 consecutive wins to secure both the Liberty League regular season and tournament championships. No. 13 William Smith fell to No. 14 Bowdoin in its NCAA opener.
Head Coach Anne Phillips will welcome back 25 of 26 players from last season’s squad, including 17 players that started three or more games. The returning Herons accounted for 242 of the team’s 255 goals and 113 of its 119 assists.
The offense returns the top eight points producers, including first-team All-Liberty League attacker Ellie Burns. She led the team with 53 goals and 65 points last year, ranking sixth in the conference in goals per game (2.65).
The entire defense returns after ranking 17th in scoring defense, allowing just 7.1 goals per game in 2019. Second team All-American Mekayla Montgomery led the league in caused turnovers with 46, was second in ground balls with 62 and ranked sixth in draws with a William Smith single season record 93.
William Smith opens the 2020 season at Geneseo on Feb. 26. The Herons’ home opener is set for Feb. 29 against Oswego.