Senior captain Caitlin Sweeney leads the Skyhawks returnees at attack. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)
Skyhawks picked fourth in NE-10 preseason coaches' poll
EASTON, Mass. (March 4, 2016) – The Stonehill College women's lacrosse team, ranked ninth in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, will get its 2016 season underway a couple days later than expected when it opens a two game set in Florida at the start of Spring Break when it visits No. 6 Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Live video and stats links for the game are available via rollinssports.com and stonehillskyhawks.com. It marks the seventh straight year Stonehill has visited Rollins during its annual spring break trip, with the two programs splitting the first six encounters. Stonehill claimed a 9-4 victory in Winter Park last spring to snap a string of three straight Tars victories after the Skyhawks have won the first two encounters in 2010 and 2011.
Stonehill has been picked fourth in the Northeast-10 Conference's preseason coaches' poll after losing nine seniors from its 2015 squad which posted a 15-5 mark overall, including a 10-3 clip in the Northeast-10. The Skyhawks reached the semifinal round of the NE-10 Tournament for the 17th straight season and earned an eight NCAA Division II Tournament bid.
Sophomore All-American Kelly Healey leads the Skyhawks returnees on defense. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)
Head coach Katie (Lambert) Conover '03 is entering her ninth season at the helm of her alma mater and returns two of its top five scorers from a year ago in senior captain Caitlin Sweeney (Hollis, New Hampshire/Hollis-Brookline) and junior Elizabeth Vetter (Great River, New York/East Islip). Vetter finished second on the team a year ago with 39 goals to go with four assists for 43 points, while adding 29 ground balls, a team-high 81 draw controls and eight caused turnovers. Sweeney totaled 31 goals and four assists for 35 points, converting 6-of-9 free-position shots, with 15 ground balls, 11 caused turnovers and seven draws. Senior captain Rebecca Matheson (Reading, Massachusetts/Reading Memorial) will add attack experience after netting 19 goals and 20 draws.
Sophomore All-American Kelly Healey (Westwood, Massachusetts/Westwood), the first freshman to collect All-America honors since 2009, headlines a Stonehill defensive front which posted an 8.11 team goals against average in 2015. She contributed 14 ground balls, collected 25 draw controls and five caused turnovers as a freshman, while chipping in three goals and an assist for four points. Senior captain Remi DiRe (Winchester, Massachusetts/Winchester) collected 28 ground balls and nine caused turnovers last season and will add defensive leadership along with junior Cara Corvino (Dorset, Vermont/Burr and Burton Academy), who ranked second on the team with 20 caused turnovers.
Sophomores Kaitlyn Hess (Guilderland, New York/Guilderland) and Bailey Herr (Oakhurst, New Jersey/Ocean Township) have battled for the starting goalkeeping duties after the graduation of All-American Ashley Armstrong '15.
Following Saturday night's opener at Rollins, Stonehill will visit the University of Tampa on Monday at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks NE-10 opener is now at Franklin Pierce University on Saturday, March 19, at 1 p.m., and their home opener Tuesday, March 22, against top-ranked Adelphi University at 7 p.m.