No. 10 Women’s Lacrosse Opens 2018 Season Against Ohio State
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy women’s lacrosse team opens up the 2018 campaign at home against Ohio State on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1:00 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network with Dave McHugh on the call. In addition, free live stats will be available throughout the game.
The Midshipmen enter the 11th season in program history ranked 10th in both the IWLCA Coaches Poll and Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, marking the highest preseason rankings in program history.
The Mids are led by Hall of Fame head coach Cindy Timchal. The decorated head coach is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I history with 491 victories heading into the 2018 season.
In her 10 seasons at the helm of the Midshipmen program, Navy has accumulated a terrific 155-43 (.783) record, won five Patriot League Championships and has advanced to five NCAA Tournaments (2010, ’11, ’12, ‘13, ‘17). In 2017, Timchal and the Navy lacrosse team made history as it became the first Service Academy team from a women’s sport to advance to the NCAA Final Four.
In 2017, the women’s lacrosse team finished the year 18-5 overall with an 8-1 record in the Patriot League. The Mids made their fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the first appearance for Navy since 2013. The Midshipmen began their historic run, advancing to the NCAA Tournament after posting a 15-5 victory over top-seeded Loyola in the Patriot League Tournament. The win marked the team’s fifth championship and ended the Greyhounds’ 41-game winning streak against PL foes.
In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Navy defeated No. 7 Penn, 11-10, at Penn Park on Dunning-Cohen Champions Field in Philadelphia, Pa. With the win, the Midshipmen advanced to the second round of the Tournament for just the second time in school history. The victory over the No. 7 Quakers was the first win against a ranked opponent in Navy history. In addition, it was the second NCAA Tournament win for Navy in program history. Navy posted a 23-11 victory over UMass in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the Mids to advance to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals for the first time in program history. The Mids defeated defending National Champions and No. 2 seed North Carolina, 16-14, to punch their ticket in to the first-ever Final Four appearance in school history.
As a team, Navy set the school record for points (545), goals (358), assists (187), shots attempted (805), shots on goal (607), ground balls (453), draw controls (364), caused turnovers (216), and games played (23). The Mids (18-5) finished one-win shy of tying the school records for wins in a season.
The 2017 Navy women’s lacrosse team finished the year ranked fourth in the final Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and sixth in the final IWLCA Coaches Poll. The rankings mark the first time in program history that the Mids have been ranked in the top 10 in either poll. It is the highest national ranking for any women’s team in school history.
Navy is 1-0 all-time against Ohio State, claiming a 9-8 victory over the Buckeyes in February of 2011. The Mids are 2-4 all-time against current members of the Big Ten. Navy has wins against Ohio State (1-0) and 2018 opponent Michigan (1-0), with losses to lacrosse powers Maryland (0-1) and Northwestern (0-3). Timchal holds a 6-1 record in games played against the Buckeyes.
Navy and Ohio State have met just one time on the lacrosse field, but the two teams have a few things in common. Assistant coach Gabby Capuzzi (‘12) was a former All-American for the Buckeyes. OSU head coach Alexis Venechanos played for Timchal at the University of Maryland. Each team has one member of the squad from the other team’s respective state. Navy’s lone member of the team from the Buckeye State is Addie Hamilton (Columbus, Ohio), while Ohio State’s Katie Burgee (Churchville, Md.) hails from Maryland.
Senior attacker Julia Collins (Clarksville, Md.) and defender Blake Smith (Sykesville, Md.) will captain the 2018 Navy women’s lacrosse team. During Navy's historic Final Four run, Ju. Collins was named to the 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship All-Tournament Team. On the year, she led the team with 118 draw controls, while grabbing 29 ground balls and causing eight turnovers. Smith, who was recently named Preseason All-Patriot League, was named First Team All-Patriot League a year ago. She anchored the defense, setting the Navy single-season record for caused turnovers with 38. In addition, she grabbed 42 ground balls with 17 draw controls.
Preseason Patriot League Favorite
Navy women’s lacrosse team were the unanimous prediction to finish atop the Patriot League when preseason honors were announced during the Patriot League Network’s (PLN) Preseason Women’s Lacrosse Show on Tuesday afternoon. The Mids garnered all 18 possible first-place votes and the maximum 162 points, after winning their fifth Patriot League Championship and becoming the first League team to advance to an NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Final Four, last season. Loyola (Md.) finished with 146 points and the remaining two first-place votes. Lehigh’s 124 points was good for third in the preseason poll, while Boston Univ. was fourth, earning 120 points. Lafayette claimed the fifth-spot with 86 points. Bucknell (78), Colgate (64), Army West Point (60), Holy Cross (38) and American (17) round out the preseason poll order.
Preseason Conference Accolades
Navy senior midfielder Jenna Collins (Clarksville, Md.) – a two-time Patriot League Midfielder of the Year and three-time first-team All-League honoree – captured Preseason Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors. Collins scored 72 goals and dished out 42 assists for 114 points in 23 games last season to lead the Mids’ tournament run. She was joined by 2017 Patriot League Rookie of the Year sophomore attacker Kelly Larkin (Alexandria, Va.) and senior defender Blake Smith (Sykesville, Md.).
Inside Lacrosse Magazine released its 2018 preseason women's lacrosse All-Americans and four members of the Navy women's lacrosse team were selected to the list. Senior Jenna Collins (Clarksville, Md.) was named to the first team, while sophomore Kelly Larkin (Alexandria, Va.) earned third team honors. Senior captains Julia Collins (Clarksville, Md.) and Blake Smith (Sykesville, Md.) were honorable mention selections.