AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -- Mount Union's women's lacrosse team is the favorite to win their third straight Ohio Athletic Conference title as they headline the OAC Coaches Preseason Poll.
The Purple Raiders received seven of a possible eight first place votes and top the poll with 49 points. Capital and Baldwin Wallace are second and third respectively while fourth place John Carroll got the remaining first place vote.
It is the fourth season that Mount Union has had a team and third year the OAC has sponsored the sport. The Raiders have swept each of the first two regular season and tournament titles.
The conference adds an eighth member in Ohio Northern this season while Heidelberg comes on board in 2017.
A year ago, Mount Union went 19-1, won OAC regular season tournament titles and advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
The Raiders enter this year ranked No. 18 in the nation and are led by three All-Great Lakes Region performers in seniors Katherine Doraty (Medina/Medina), Kolbie Haines (Hudson/Hudson) and Taylor Pensyl (Kent/Roosevelt).
Mount Union opens the 2016 season Monday, Feb. 29 at 10:30 a.m. against Elizabethtown (Pa.) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The home opener is Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m. against DePauw (Ind.).
2016 OAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Mount Union -- 49 (7)
2. Capital -- 38
3. Baldwin Wallace -- 35
4. John Carroll -- 32 (1)
5. Otterbein -- 30
6t. Ohio Northern -- 15
6t. Wilmington -- 15
8. Muskingum -- 10