The USC women’s lacrosse team has been ranked preseason No. 3 in the Nike/US Lacrosse Top 20 poll. The Women of Troy placed behind North Carolina (No. 1) and Maryland (No. 2).
USC finished the 2016 season ranked No. 4 in the nation with an impressive overall record of 20-1. Their lone loss came in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals at the hands of the Syracuse Orange, a 12-11 defeat.
This season, USC will be led by four Inside Lacrosse preseason All-Americans. Senior attacker Michaela Michael received First Team All-American recognition from IL. Junior goaltender Gussie Johns was chosen for second-team honors. Junior defender Lydia Sutton was placed on the third team, and senior attacker Kylie Drexel received preseason honorable mention status.
Michael led the team with 68 goals on 96 shots on goal (.576 percent) last season. She is the first Trojans lacrosse player to be named an All-American by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association.
Johns led the nation in goals-against average in 2016 (6.04 gaa) and was All-MPSF and IWLCA All-Region. She led the team with 49 ground balls.
Sutton earned All-MPSF second team honors in 2016 with 37 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers in her sophomore campaign.
Drexel was also a second-team All-MPSF selection and was the Trojans’ second-leading goal scorer with 40 last year. She also had 18 assists, 25 ground balls, 24 draw controls, and 11 caused turnovers.
With high expectations heading into the season, No. 3 USC will open its 2017 campaign at home against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 11.