NEWTON, Mass. – The Lasell College women's lacrosse team has been voted to finish runner-up in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon. The poll was voted upon by the GNAC's head coaches.
Lasell finished second with two first-place votes and 108 points, following reigning league champion Johnson & Wales University, which received seven of a possible 11 first-place votes to take the top spot with 111 points. Saint Joseph's College of Maine was third with the other two first-place nods and 105 points.
Mount Ida College had 85 points and Emmanuel College had 74 points to round out the top-five in the poll, while last year's GNAC Tournament runner-up Simmons College was sixth with 62 points. Newest GNAC full member Regis (Mass.) placed seventh with 56 points after capturing the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship the past five years.
The Lasers, which finished 10-6 last spring and 7-2 in conference play, will open their 16-game slate for 2018 with three straight home games at Grellier Field, beginning on Saturday, March 3, against Wheaton College at 12 noon. Lasell will also host Gordon College on Tuesday, March 6 at 3:30 p.m. and Elms College on Friday, March 9 at 4:00 p.m. The first GNAC contest is also at Grellier Field on Tuesday, March 20, against Rivier University (4:00 p.m.)
Lasell returns five All-GNAC selections from 2017, including three First Team picks in senior midfielder Taylor Yandow (Moretown, Vt.), senior defender Taylor Falco (Hazlet, N.J.) and junior attacker Vanessa Pino (Methuen, Mass.). Also back for the Lasers are Second Team sophomore attacker Samantha Taylor (Hanover, Mass.) and Third Team sophomore defender Brook Landry (New Milford, Conn.)
The 2018 GNAC Tournament will get underway with quarterfinal action on Saturday, April 28 at the four highest seeds. Semifinals are set for Tuesday, May 1, with the championship game slated for Saturday, May 5. The GNAC Tournament champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.
2018 GNAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
1. Johnson & Wales (7) - 111
2. Lasell (2) - 108
3. Saint Joseph's Maine (2) - 105
4. Mount Ida - 85
5. Emmanuel - 74
6. Simmons - 62
7. Regis (Mass.) - 56
8. Norwich - 51
9. Rivier - 35
10. Albertus Magnus - 26
11. Saint Joseph (CT) - 13
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