Stonehill Ranked 7th in IWLCA Preseason Poll

Senior Kayla Green returns after leading the Skyhawks with 74 points in 2012. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Skyhawks among five NE-10 programs to appear in preseason poll

EASTON, Mass. (February 5, 2013) – The Stonehill College women's lacrosse team is ranked seventh in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II preseason poll released today.

It marks the second top ten preseason ranking for Stonehill who is also ranked seventh in the Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll released last month. Stonehill is one of five Northeast-10 Conference programs appearing in the IWLCA preseason poll, which is headed by defending National Champions LIU Post who will visit W.B. Mason Stadium for a non-conference clash with the Skyhawks on Saturday, April 13, at 11 a.m. Defending Northeast-10 regular season champions Le Moyne College is ranked second, with NE-10 Tournament Champions Adelphi University picked third and receiving a first place vote. The Skyhawks are seventh, University of New Haven eighth and rival Bentley University picked ninth. NE-10 member Merrimack College is among teams receiving votes.

Stonehill is scheduled to face eight teams ranked in the preseason top 15 during the 2013 season, including a season-opening clash with No. 5 Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., on Saturday, March 2, at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks will then visit No. 15 Florida Southern University for the first time on Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m., also traveling to Adelphi on Saturday, March 30, at 4 p.m. and Le Moyne on Saturday, April 6, at noon. Stonehill will play host to Bentley on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m., New Haven on Saturday, March 23, at noon and 11th-ranked Dowling College on Saturday, April 20, at 11 a.m.

Stonehill is coming off a 2012 season in which it posted a 14-5 record overall, including a 10-2 clip in the Northeast-10 to finish third in the Conference standings. The Skyhawks have made a record 14 straight appearances in the NE-10 tournament, reaching the semifinal round every season including last year where they were dealt a heartbreaking 12-11 overtime setback to eventual champions Adelphi in Syracuse, N.Y.

Stonehill head coach Katie Conover, entering her sixth season at the helm of her alma mater, returns 20 letter winners and nine starters, including six who started at least 18 of the Skyhawks 19 games, from last season. Senior All-American Kelsey Reilly (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) leads the list of returnees for Stonehill after shattering the program record for draw controls as a junior with 120 to go with 40 goals and a team-high 21 assists for 61 points, while also adding 61 ground balls and 41 caused turnovers.

Seniors Kayla Green (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) and Heather Sullivan (Andover, Mass./Andover) return after heading the Stonehill offense with breakout years in 2012. Green, an IWLCA All-North Region selection, led the Skyhawks with 74 points on a team-high 56 goals and 18 assists, while Sullivan totaled 55 goals and eight assists for 63 points to earn All-Northeast-10 accolades.

Sophomore goaltender Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) started ten of 13 games played as a freshman with a 10.58 goals against average and 8.4 saves per game.

As mentioned, Stonehill opens its 2013 season at 4th-ranked Rollins on Saturday, March 2, at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks first home game is slated for Sunday, March 17, when they host Queens (N.Y.) College at W.B. Mason Stadium at noon.

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