Women’s lacrosse projected to win 2018 Pac-12 title

The USC women’s lacrosse team is set to kick off their season on Saturday at Virginia Tech.

Sophomore midfielder Kerrigan Miller scored the fifth-most goals last season. Daily Trojan file photo.

This Women of Troy team will play in the inaugural season of Pac-12 women’s lacrosse. Women’s lacrosse has become the 13th sport sponsored by the Pac-12.

The Trojans earned conference championship titles the past two seasons, winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and advancing to the NCAA quarter final both years. Last season they finished with a record of 18-4.

Coming into the 2018 season, expectations are high. The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association released their top-25 poll at the end of last month, ranking the Trojans No. 8, leaving the team with the challenge to  move into the top 5 as the season progresses. Among their Pac-12 competitors, Colorado (17) and Stanford (23) have also earned spots on the rankings.

For the inaugural season of Pac-12 women’s lacrosse, USC has been voted to take the regular-season title by the other head coaches in the conference. They will continue to rely on their previously successful team and look to improve with the addition of freshmen.

They will be led by head coach Lindsey Munday, who earned her 69th career win last season. Sophomore midfielder Kerrigan Miller will continue her strong presence on the team, after winning MPSF’s Rookie of the Year award last season. Senior Lydia Sutton comes into this season after being named an IWLCA third-team All-American.

Freshman goalie Riley Hertford and midfielder Kelsey Huff ranked 12 and 13 in the Power 100 freshman rankings, respectively, are expected to bring the experience of their successful high school careers as Under Armour High School All-Americans to enhance the team’s dynamic. They have both been named to the ILWomen Power 100 Freshman Rankings by InsideLacrosse.com.

Virginia Tech attackers Tristan McGinley and Emma Harden will be an offensive force, while defenseman Kelly Glatthorn and goalie Meagh Graham will lead the team defensively. They will also be relying on the presence of their 13 incoming freshman, who will act as the foundation as the Hokies build their women’s lacrosse program.

The Trojans will continue on the road for their first few games following the season opener, as they play No. 2 Stony Brook in the Orange County Lacrosse Showcase. Later in the month, they will travel to No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 9 Northwestern before the first home game on March 7, where they will face No. 6 Boston College. The Women of Troy will begin Pac-12 play soon after that, as they take on Arizona State at home on March 10.