Mount Union's women's lacrosse team hopes its business as usual in 2019 as the Purple Raiders look to continue a run that now includes five straight Ohio Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles along with five straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Mount Union was picked to win its sixth consecutive conference title by the conference's head coaches. The Raiders got seven of nine first place votes in the poll while the remaning two first place votes went to second place Capital.
The Raiders return 12 letterwiners and eight starters from a squad that led the nation in the scoring a year ago. The top two scorers return as senior Ashley Bernardi (Medina) tallied 80 goals, 44 assists and 120 points while junior Danielle Rohrman (Olney, Md. / Sherwood) scored 65 goals with 28 assists for 93 points as both went on to earn All-OAC and all-region first team honors. Kenzie Pensyl (Kent / Roosevelt), who had 60 points (38 goals and 22 assists) along with double digit scorers Alyssa Rydell (Medina) and Sydney Bumbarger (Newbury Park, Calif.) are also back.
While Mount Union scores plenty of goals, it also keeps its opponents out of the goal being fourth nationally in scoring defense a year ago. Junior goalie Mimi Curtis (Lititz, Pa. / Manheim Township) anchored the defense a year ago with a 6.44 goals against average as she was the OAC's Goalkeeper of the Year. Senior Megan Ronceray (Long Valley, N.J. / West Morris Central) and sophomore Brenna Duke (Hollywood, Md. / Leonardtown), the OAC Rookie of the Year in 2018, also help lead solid defensive group.
After opening the season this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 15-16) with games against Rhodes (Tenn.) and Illinois Wesleyan in Louisville, Kentucky, the Raiders host Fredonia State (N.Y.) in the home opener Saturday, Feb. 23 at 12 p.m. at Mount Union Stadium.
OAC Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Mount Union (7) - 62
2. Capital (2) - 53
3. Baldwin Wallace - 52
4. John Carroll - 46
5. Otterbein - 37
6. Ohio Northern - 24
7. Heidelberg - 22
8. Marietta - 15
9. Muskingum - 13