COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's lacrosse team was chosen 13th 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 28 points toward the 14-team poll. Defending national champion Le Moyne College (167), which is first in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association's (IWLCA) preseason national poll, topped the rankings.
The Purple Knights finished 2-13 overall and 2-11 in the league last year, suffering five losses by three goals or fewer. Six of the Purple and Gold's 13 NE10 games were against nationally-ranked teams, and seven of its conference opponents in 2019 are currently either ranked or receiving votes toward the IWLCA's preseason national poll. Saint Michael's sprung a 10-9 upset of Stonehill College, its first win in the series in 19 years against the perennial Division II power, late last season. The Skyhawks were picked eighth in the NE10 poll.
A veteran core returns to a team that counts eight players using their initial season of eligibility this spring, with senior captain Alex Vincent (Rush, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women) coming back as last year's leader in goals (38) and points (49). Vincent, who has 99 career points, added 27 draw controls. Junior Kaelyn Oliver (Canton, Conn./Canton) turned in 11 goals, seven assists and 15 ground balls, while sophomore Kaitlyn Waystack (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) added 13 goals and 17 points.
Senior captain Kate Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) scored 13 goals while adding 31 draw controls and 13 caused turnovers out of the midfield, while juniors Lilly Hardy (Greenland, N.H./Portsmouth) and Katrina Pietz (Brentwood, N.H./Exeter) both caused 11 turnovers while scooping 22 and 19 ground balls, respectively.
Senior captain Annie Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) set a school record with 63 draw controls while posting 31 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers, and sophomore Emma Coleman (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) established a program mark with 32 caused turnovers to go along with 22 ground balls. Coleman was named to the NE10 All-Rookie Team. Sophomore Victoria Putnam (East Falmouth, Mass./Saint Mark's School) starting eight games in goal with 6.3 saves per contest and a pair of wins last spring.
Saint Michael's enters the year under interim head coach Courtney Barrett with a pair of home games to start the spring, against Saint Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) College on March 8 and an NE10 affair with Adelphi University five days later. The Panthers are ranked second in the nation and won three of the past five NCAA Tournaments.