Seven UNC women's lacrosse players named preseason All-Americans

Seven members of the UNC women's lacrosse squad were named to the preseason USA Lacrosse All-America team.

2019 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship - Semifinals
2019 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship - Semifinals / G Fiume/GettyImages
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The UNC women's lacrosse program cemented its status as one of the strongest in the country on Wednesday, when seven players--equivalent to more than half of a starting 12-woman team--were named to the USA Lacrosse Magazine preseason All-America team.

Junior defender Brooklyn Walker-Welch leads the way as a member of the first team for the second consecutive season. When she was named a preseason first-team All-American in 2023, she became the 27th Tar Heel so honored, a remarkable feat considering the UNC women's lacrosse program only began in 1996. She was the sparkplug for a defense that only surrendered 8.4 goals per game, the fewest in the ACC. That's no small feat in a league that accounted for half of the Elite Eight in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, and half of the Final Four.

Graduate midfielder Emily Nails was named to the second team, while senior attacker Caitlyn Wurzberger was named to the third team. Junior attacker Kelly Casey, senior attacker Reilly Casey, senior midfielder Alyssa Long, sophomore attacker Marissa White, and junior goalkeeper Alecia Nicholas were named as honorable mentions.

All told, UNC women's lacrosse is tied with conference rival Notre Dame for the most preseason All-Americans from a single school. Another conference rival, national runner-up Boston College, is tied with Northwestern for first. It's no surprise that the Tar Heels will open the season ranked third in the USA Lacrosse preseason poll.

With a roster boasting this many All-Americans, UNC women's lacrosse has shown it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as its women's soccer and field hockey compatriots. Jenny Levy, the only coach that the program has ever known since it first took the field in 1996, may not get nearly as much ink as women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance. But she has built a squad that matches Dorrance's teams in the performance category.

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