NEWTON, Mass. – The Lasell College women's lacrosse team has been picked to finish runner-up in the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) preseason poll, as voted by the league's head coaches.
Two-time defending GNAC champion Johnson & Wales University received nine of 12 first-place votes and 138 points to take the top spot in the poll. Lasell, which fell to JWU in the last year's championship game, finished second with 132 points and two first-place votes.
The Lasers will open the season next Thursday, February 28, with a non-conference home game against Emerson College at 3:00 p.m. at Grellier Field.
Saint Joseph's College of Maine also received one first-place vote to go along with 118 points in the poll, while Regis College finished fourth with 101 points. Finishing fifth in the poll was Simmons University with 95 points, followed by newest GNAC member Colby-Sawyer College, which advanced to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship game last spring, with 86 points. Norwich University was just behind that pace with 78 points.
Rounding out the poll were Emmanuel College (58 points), Rivier University (49), Albertus Magnus College (30), Anna Maria College (28) and the University of Saint Joseph (23). The Amcats will be in their first year of rebooting the women's lacrosse program, which last took the field in 2014.
The Lasers return 14 veterans from last year's squad, which finished 14-4 overall and 8-2 in the GNAC under head coach Cait Connolly. Included in the group of returnees are three All-Conference selections – senior Vanessa Pino (Methuen, Mass.), who was also the GNAC Attacker of the Year, senior midfielder Jordan McComb (Cumberland, R.I.) and freshman attacker Kellie Matthews (Walpole, Mass.).
The 2019 GNAC Tournament dates are set for April 27, April 30 and May 4, hosted by high seeds throughout for a shot to capture the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
2019 GNAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
1) Johnson & Wales (9) - 138
2) Lasell (2) - 132
3) Saint Joseph's Maine (1) - 118
4) Regis - 101
5) Simmons - 95
6) Colby-Sawyer - 86
7) Norwich - 78
8) Emmanuel - 58
9) Rivier - 49
10) Albertus Magnus - 30
11) Anna Maria - 28
12) Saint Joseph (Conn.) - 23
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