Feb. 12, 2004
BALTIMORE, MD - Loyola College was ranked fifth in a pre-season poll released by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Wednesday. The Greyhounds, who finished 17-2 and as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2003, received 15 votes and a total of 229 points in the poll.
Loyola will open its schedule this month with a visit to the University of Pennsylvania on February 28th. The Greyhounds will also face local rival UMBC and North Carolina which is ranked No. 11 on IWLCA's pre-season poll, before coming home to take on the two-time national champions and No. 1 pick in the poll, Princeton, on March 7th. Loyola will rededicate their home field in honor of former coach, Diane Geppi-Aikens, prior to that game. Throughout the season, Loyola will face several of the IWLCA's top picks including No. 8 James Madison on March 26th, No. 10 Penn State on April 3rd, No. 4 Duke on April 9th, No. 2 Virginia on April 17th, No. 14 Stanford on April 24th, No. 2 Maryland on May 1st and No. 13 Syracuse on May 8th to close the regular season.
This season, Loyola will be led by first-year head coach Kerri Johnson. Johnson served as the Greyhounds associate head coach in 2003 and as an assistant coach from 1998-2002.
Johnson returns eight starters from last season's squad as well as four of the team's top five leading scorers from 2003. Third-team All-America selection Rachel Shuck is Loyola's leading returning scorer as well as a captain this season. She shares the role of captain with fellow seniors Kristi Korrow, Kourtney Porcella and Tara Singleton, who were all a part of the 2003 defensive unit that ranked first in the nation in scoring defense. The Greyhounds also return two goalies from 2003; Kim Lawton, who finished the season ranked first in the country in goals against average and second in saves percentage, and Cindy Nicolaus, who finished first in saves percentage and sixth in GAA.