Head Coach Katie Conover returns 20 letterwinners and nine starters from last year's squad which reached the NE-10 semifinals for the 14th-straight season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Skyhawks receive three of 13 first place votes, open season March 2
EASTON, Mass. (February 12, 2013) – The Stonehill College women's lacrosse team has been picked third in the Northeast-10 Conference's preseason coaches' poll the league announced today.
Stonehill, ranked seventh in both the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) and Lacrosse Magazine preseason Division II polls, received three of the 13 first place votes by the NE-10's head coaches and collected 124 points. Defending NE-10 regular season champions Le Moyne College and reigning NE-10 tournament champs Adelphi University split the remaining ten first place votes with Le Moyne gaining the edge as preseason favorites with 137 points, followed by Adelphi with 133. The University of New Haven (110 points) is picked fourth, while Bentley University (103) rounds out the top five.
Stonehill is scheduled to face eight teams ranked in the IWLCA's 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 No. 3 Adelphi on Saturday, March 30, at 4 p.m. and No. 2 Le Moyne on Saturday, April 6, at noon. Stonehill will play host to No. 9 Bentley on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m., No. 8 New Haven on Saturday, March 23, at noon and 11th-ranked Dowling College on Saturday, April 20, at 11 a.m.
Senior Kayla Green is the Skyhawks returns after leading the team in scoring as a junior. (PHOTO BY Shane Bufano)
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.