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February 4, 2013

Vikings tabbed as MWLC favorite

Sophomore midfielder Kelly Stelzer was Augustana's fourth-leading scorer with 34 goals and 16 assists in 2012. She and her Viking teammates have been picked as the league favorite in their first season in the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference.

NAPERVILLE, Ill.- After a 15-3 inaugural season as an independent, coach Sara Tisdale's Augustana lacrosse program has been selected as the favorite in this year's Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference pre-season coaches' poll. The Vikings topped the poll, garnering seven of nine first-place votes and 62 points total.

Augustana led the nation in scoring offense (19.22 goals per game) and scoring margin (+11.17 goals per game) in its first season of varsity competition in 2012. They faced four of this year's conference mates, defeating Fontbonne (23-3), Concordia (23-4) and North Central (19-7). Carthage, which was second in this year's coaches' poll, handed Tisdale's club a 13-10 setback in Kenosha, Wisconsin on March 17. That was Augustana's last loss before a season-ending nine-game winning streak.  

Carthage received one first-place vote and was picked for second in the MWLC with 57 points. North Central got the other first-place nod and was predicted for third with 51 points. Mt. St. Joseph (42), Concordia (38) and Fontbonne (25) rounded out the top six, with first-year programs Aurora (20), Beloit (19) and Benedictine (10) holding down the final three spots.  

The Vikings open the 2013 season on February 21 against the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. The Bulldogs went 16-2 in 2012. Augustana welcomes Hope to Thorson-Lucken Field on March 8 at 7:30 p.m. for its 2013 home opener. The conference season begins on March 23, when the Vikings travel to Beloit, Wisconsin to take on the Buccaneers.  

2013 MWLC Pre-Season Coaches' Poll

Rank Team 2012 Record; MWLC Points First Place Votes
1 AUGUSTANA 15-3; Independent 62 7
2 Carthage 12-5; 5-1 57 1
3 North Central 6-10; 4-2 51 1
4 Mt. St. Joseph 4-10; 2-4 42
5 Concordia (Wis.) 3-11; 2-4 38
6 Fontbonne 0-10; 0-5 25
7 Aurora 2013 - 1st varsity season 20
8 Beloit 2013 - 1st varsity season 19
9 Benedictine 2013 - 1st varsity season 10