COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's lacrosse team was chosen 11th in the Northeast-10 Conference's preseason poll, which was released by the conference office today and selected by the member institutions' head coaches. The Purple Knights garnered 37 points toward the 13-team poll, which was topped by Le Moyne College (137). The Dolphins are second in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association's (IWLCA) preseason national poll.
The Purple and Gold took on a nationally-ranked foe seven times last year en route to going 4-12 overall and 1-11 in the league. Among the Purple Knights' victories was a non-league, season-ending 11-9 triumph over a Queens College squad receiving national votes at the time. Saint Michael's will face another tough NE-10 slate this spring, as five of the top nine in the IWLCA's preseason national poll hail from the conference, and another received national votes.
Five new players join a squad that lost only three to graduation, as 14 of the 16 Purple Knights to record a point return. Junior Crystal King (South Burlington, Vt./South Burlington) had 15 goals and 20 points, while sophomores Kate Boyer (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) and Courtney Piper (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy) both notched 19 points. Junior Claire Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) paced the squad with 45 draw controls, while she and classmate Nicole Buckley (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) scooped a team-high 42 ground balls. Buckley caused a team-leading 30 turnovers. First-year Casey Curtin (Waltham, Mass./Ursuline Academy) is the lone goalkeeper on the roster this spring.
Saint Michael's begins its third season under head coach Ashley Hughes at Queens on March 9 before heading to Florida for a pair of non-region contests during Spring Break.