Preseason Rankings Roll in for Women's Lacrosse

Shannahan earned All-Region honors for the Skyhawks as a junior, falling just a ground ball shy of the program's single-season record. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Skyhawks picked fifth in NE10 preseason poll, ranked 17th in IWLCA Division II preseason poll, 20th in Nike/US Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll

NE10 Women's Lacrosse Preseason poll announcement

IWLCA Division II preseason poll

Nike/US Lacrosse Magazine Division II preseason poll

EASTON, Mass. (February 6, 2018) – The Stonehill College women's lacrosse team is picked fifth in the Northeast-10 Conference preseason poll by the league's 14 head coaches the NE10 office announced today.

In addition to its preseason NE10 ranking, Stonehill is ranked in the top 20 of both NCAA Division II national preseason polls released by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) and US Lacrosse Magazine. The Skyhawks collected 123 points to sit in fifth place in the NE10 preseason coaches' poll, with four-time defending Conference champions Adelphi University picked first with 167 points and 11 first place votes. Le Moyne College (159 points) is picked second and received the three remaining first place votes, followed by the University of New Haven (141 pts) in third place and Pace University (124 pts) in fourth.

Stonehill is ranked in both Division II preseason polls, with a No. 18-ranking from the IWLCA and a No. 20 rank in the Nike/US Lacrosse Magazine poll. The Skyhawks are among five NE10 programs ranked in the IWLCA Top 25 poll and four in the US Lacrosse Magazine Top 20. Five teams appearing in the IWLCA poll and US Lacrosse Magazine poll dot Stonehill's 2018 schedule, which commences Thursday, February 22, with an NE10 matchup at American International College at 5 p.m.

Stonehill, under the direction of Stonehill Athletic and NE10 Hall of Famer Katie Conover '03 in her 11th season at the helm of her alma mater, returns six starters and ten letterwinners from a 2017 squad which finished with a 12-7 record overall, including 10-3 in the NE10 for a fourth place finish and 19th Conference Tournament appearance.

Kelly Healey was a key member of the Skyhawks defense last season. (PHOTO BY Mike Broglio/SportsPix)

Senior All-Region midfielder Taylor Shannahan (Mendham, New Jersey/Morris Catholic) and classmate Kelly Healey (Westwood, Massachusetts/Westwood), an IWLCA All-American as a freshman, headline Stonehill's list of returnees. Shannahan, also an All-NE10 third team honoree last season, led the NE10 with 66 ground balls – finishing just one shy of the program's single-season record set by Colby Confer '05 in 2003, while ranking second on the team with 24 caused turnovers and collecting 24 draw controls. She also led the Skyhawks with 11 assists, while netting 22 goals to rank fourth on the team with 33 points. Healey collected 30 draw controls, 22 ground balls and eight caused turnovers to help lead the Skyhawks defensive efforts.

Sophomore Jennifer Wheaton (Dartmouth, Massachusetts/Dartmouth), an NE10 All-Rookie Team selection last spring, is Stonehill's top returning scorer after totaling 34 goals and four assists for 38 points, while adding 42 draw controls, 26 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers. Classmates MacKenzie Pleshaw (Franklin, Massachusetts/Franklin) and Kaitlyn Healey (Westwood, Massachusetts/Westwood) also aim to build off strong rookie seasons as well. Pleshaw totaled 29 goals and two assists for 31 points and Healey tallied 22 goals and two assists for 24 points, with 37 draws, 22 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers.

Sophomore Bailey Grant (Chelmsford, Massachusetts/Chelmsford) emerged as Stonehill's top goalkeeper to earn NE10 All-Rookie honors last spring. She posted a 9.12 goals against average with six saves per game in 769:43 over 14 appearances, including 12 starts, a year ago.

After opening its 2018 season at AIC, Stonehill visits Molloy College, ranked 17th in the US Lacrosse Magazine poll, for a non-conference matchup on Saturday, March 3, at noon. The Skyhawks home opener is the following Tuesday, March 6, with an NE10 matchup with Merrimack College at W.B. Mason Stadium at 3 p.m.

For the third straight year, all home Stonehill women's lacrosse games will be streamed live at Craig White returns to provide play-by-play coverage on SkyhawksVision for the second-straight year.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.