Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Elms College women's lacrosse team was selected to finish fifth in the 2017 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Poll, announced by the league office. The Blazers received 48 total points, sitting eight points back of fourth-place Wheelock College.
Under the guidance of first-year head coach Jessica Scannapieco, the Blazers are returning 14 players from their 2016 squad, which posted a 7-10 overall record with a 3-4 mark in NECC play. The Blazers will be bringing back eight starters, including 2016 NECC Rookie of the Year and All-NECC First Team selection Vanessa Vurno (Salem, Conn.) along with fellow First Team selection junior Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.). As a freshman, Vurno set the program record for points in a season with 79, tallying 46 goals, third-most in program history, and 33 assists, a new program record. Soucia led the NECC in draw controls (110), while registering the third-most points in a season (62) and the third-most goals in a season (47) in program history.
Regis College was selected to take home the NECC Title as they have the past four seasons. The Pride finished with 77 total points, which included eight of the nine first place nods. Regis will have some work to do as they graduated one of their top goal scorers in Sam Salamone and their starting goalie, Emma Decker, from the 2016 season. Overall the Pride return 12 players and seven of their starters, while adding some talented rookies to the mix.
After a breakout 2016 season, Southern Vermont College finished second in the polls with 69 points and the final first place nod. The Mountaineers have an experienced team returning, with 11 of their starters. SVC will be led by the reigning NECC Player of the Year senior Melodie Orrell who collected 37 goals in 2016 conference play.
Finishing third in the poll was Becker College with 60 total points. The Hawks will build their team around sophomore Rachel Adams, one of the top defenders in the conference and a 2016 All-NECC first team selection.
Wheelock College landing just behind in fourth place with 56 total points. The Wildcats return 11 of their starters including junior Katie Frade who earned All-NECC first team honors. Frade will be helped throughout the season by All-NECC second team members, sophomore Georgia Schindele and senior Meghan Lewis.
Mitchell College finished with 35 points for sixth place, The Mariners return All- NECC first team member, senior Ashley Murtha, who was first in 2016 in NECC play with 39 goals.
Closing out the polls in seventh is the first year program at Newbury College with 27 total points, Bay Path University finished in eighth with 18 points, while Daniel Webster collected 15 points for ninth in the polls.
NECC teams will begin their seasons with non-conference matchups on Saturday, February 25th. Conference play with eight teams facing off on Saturday, March 25th.
Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Preseason Poll
- Regis – 77 (8)
- Southern Vermont – 69 (1)
- Becker – 60
- Wheelock - 56
- Elms – 48
- Mitchell – 35
- Newbury – 27
- Bay Path – 18
- Daniel Webster – 15
Source: (New England Collegiate Conference)