-->

Lady Ice Lions Tabbed Number 11 in ACHA D1 Preseason Ranking

2013-14 Division 2 Coach of the Year Patrick Fung and the Lady Ice Lions start the season ranked 11th



While much remains unknown about how Penn State's restocked ACHA Division 2 powerhouse will compete in Division 1, the D1 ranking committee has levied an official position, placing the Lady Ice Lions 11th in its preseason poll, released Friday.

Despite PSU being in its first season in D1, the spot was given likely as a nod to the team's high level of success in the lower Division 2 (28-8-3 in two seasons, with a pair of trips to the national championship game) as well as the fact that the blue and white is not a typical D2 upstart - six seniors on the roster were a part of the D1 Lady Icers as freshmen in 2011-12.

Curiously enough, the eleventh slot is almost a perfect continuation of where the Lady Icers left things before evolving into Penn State's NCAA team for the 2012-13 season. That team finished 9th in its final ACHA season after stops at each spot from 10 through 12 in the first three polls.

Elsewhere, defending national champion Miami unsurprisingly and unanimously took the top spot. The RedHawks return the bulk of their squad, including ACHA tournament MVP Kaley Mooney - a Pittsburgh native who previously played with Lady Ice Lions Cara Mendelson, Kim Badorrek and Darby Kern in the Team Pittsburgh Tier 1 program - as well as World University Games heroes Katie Augustine and Morgan McGrath. Hayley Williams, the reigning Zoe Harris Award winner as ACHA player of the year, has also joined Miami as a transfer from Robert Morris.

PSU's conference, the ECWHL, was well represented in the rankings. Massachusetts, the 2014 national runners-up and including former Penn State Lady Icer Paige Harrington, checked in at number two. Perennial power Rhode Island will begin the era after the departure of program founder Beth McCann under Ashley Pagliarini ranked fifth. Northeastern grabbed the 13th spot (tied with Colorado), while Vermont received votes but missed the top 15 cutoff.

Liberty, which will host the Lady Ice Lions in a December non-conference series, placed third.

While this ranking was developed by the ACHA Division 1 ranking committee with informative contributions from the division's head coaches, the in-season versions will be an average of three separate polls. The first will be the traditional coaches survey, with the ranking committee's vote counting for another third and a computer poll representing the remaining third.

Overall record, strength of schedule, record versus ranked teams, games against common opponents, record versus the division and head to head performance remain the primary considerations when determining how squads are slotted.

The cutoff date for the next poll is October 26th, with others following on November 23rd, January 18th and February 22nd. The top eight teams in that final ranking will qualify for the ACHA National Tournament, held March 4th through 8th in York, PA.

Penn State begins its quest to qualify for the tournament on September 27th and 28th with a pair of games at Vermont, before returning to Pegula Ice Arena to face off with Division 2 opponent Delaware on October 4th and 5th.

Here is the complete ranking (first place votes in parentheses):

Pts. ..
Pts.
1
Miami (7)
7
9
Robert Morris
71
2
Massachusetts
22
10
Minnesota
80
3
Liberty
24
11
Penn State
81
4
Michigan
35
12
Davenport
82
5
Rhode Island
37
13
Northeastern
89
6
Adrian
40
13
Colorado
89
7
Michigan State
59
15
Colorado State
101
8
Grand Valley State
61
Others receiving votes: Lindenwood-Belleville, Wisconsin, Denver, Vermont

Penn State Lady Ice Lions: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram