Endicott Earns Top Spot in CCC Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll

Endicott Earns Top Spot in CCC Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Two-time defending Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament Champion, Endicott, was once again picked to finish at the top of the league as it earned all nine first place votes in the 2019 CCC Preseason Coaches' Poll.

The nine first place votes give the Gulls an 81-point total in the voting that was conducted by the nine CCC women's lacrosse head coaches last week.

Endicott completed its second straight perfect conference season in 2018, compiling an 8-0 CCC (14-4 overall) record and earning the No. 1 seed in the CCC Tournament. The Gulls received a first round bye before flying by No. 4 seed Salve Regina, 20-3, for a rubber match meeting with No. 2 seed Roger Williams. Endicott won at tightly contested game and earned the league's NCAA automatic qualification.

In the national tournament, the Gulls matched up with No. 16 William Smith in the first round and fell 18-8.

Roger Williams lands in the No. 2 spot in the preseason poll with 72 points. The Hawks only conference loss last season was to the undefeated Gulls as they compiled a 7-1 CCC (13-4 overall) record. They defeated the sixth-seeded University of New England, 18-6, before meeting Endicott in the championship.

UNE earns the third spot in this year's rankings with 53 points. The Nor'easters went 4-4 in conference (8-9 overall) last year and entered the CCC Tournament as the No. 6 seed, earning an upset victory over No. 3 seed Western New England for a spot in the semifinals. The Golden Bears are fourth in this year's poll with 50 points. Salve Regina rounds out the top five with 48 points.

Gordon (45 points), Curry (22), Wentworth (20), and Nichols (14) land in the final four spots in the poll in that order.

The CCC women's lacrosse season gets underway on Saturday, Feb. 23 with a pair of non-conference games. The conference schedule kicks off a month later on Saturday, March 23. Due to a change in the conference bylaws regarding the number of teams that qualify for conference tournaments, the top seven teams will qualify for this year's championship. The Tournament will begin with the quarterfinal round on Saturday, April 27, followed by the semifinals on Tuesday, April 30. The CCC Tournament Championship will take place on Friday, May 3. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the conference's automatic qualifier in to the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2019 CCC women's lacrosse schedule.

 

 

2019 CCC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Endicott 81 (9)
2. Roger Williams 72
3. University of New England 53
4. Western New England 50
5. Salve Regina 48
6. Gordon 45
7. Curry 22
8. Wentworth 20
9. Nichols 14

 

2019 CCC Women's Lacrosse Previews

Contributed by each school's sports information department.

 

1. Endicott

The Endicott women's lacrosse team returns to the field in 2019 looking for its third straight CCC Tournament title. In 2018 the Gulls went 14-4 overall and 8-0 in conference play under head coach Maureen Spellman en route to the programs 11th conference title and 11th NCAA tournament appearance. 

Endicott returns a large number of its 2018 roster including All-CCC First Team selections Alex Fitzgerald (Guilford, Conn.), Jennifer Lacroix (Wrentham, Mass.), Talia Dellatto (Andover, Mass.) Bella Rino (Northborough, Mass.), All-CCC Second Team members Meghan Dutchyshyn (Cheshire, Conn.), Ali Campbell (Lakeville, Mass.), Gabriella Prisco (West Haven, Conn.), Molly McMahon (Hanover, Mass.), and All-CCC Third Team selection Jackie Healy (Northborough, Mass.).


Jennifer Lacroix, EC

2. Roger Williams

The Roger Williams women's lacrosse team completed another strong season, had another stellar season, finishing with 12+ regular-season wins for the fourth straight season while clinching the No. 2 seed for the second straight year. Under first-year head coach and 2018 CCC Coach of the Year Jennifer Fox, the Hawks claimed a first-round bye in the CCC Tournament and made their way to the CCC Championship for the fifth straight year. Unfortunately RWU couldn't collect another CCC title as the Hawks were downed by Endicott in the championship game.

This year's team will look to replace the void left by four seniors, including Kaelin Hogan, 2018 CCC Offensive Player of the Year and the program's all-time leading scorer. Despite the loss of Hogan, Roger Williams will bring in seven newcomers to the 2019 squad. In addition, RWU still returns seven starters from last year's team including the 2018 CCC Defensive Player of the Year in senior midfielder Emily Stoeppel (Brookfield, Conn.).


Emily Stoeppel, RWU

3. University of New England

The University of New England and 11th-year head coach Sue Estabrook return eight starters from 2018 and the group that went 4-4 in CCC action.

Leading scorer and All-CCC Second Team pick Keara Dwyer (Cazenovia, N.Y.) is back for her sophomore season, after 36 goals and 18 assists as a rookie. Senior defender Kyra Taylor (Meriden, N.H.) was also an All-CCC Second Team honoree last year (Third Team prior to that), while junior attacker Anna Stowell (Sutton, N.H.) landed All-CCC Third Team recognition (25 goals, 37 ground balls, 31 draws). Senior attacker Nichole Carvalho (South Kingstown, R.I.)and senior midfielder Olivia Carpenter (Middlebury, Vt.) garnered all-league status in previous seasons. 

Sophomore midfielder Molly Camelo (Melrose, Mass.) was second on the team in goals at 32 (to go with 36 ground balls, 27 draws, and 20 caused turnovers).


Keara Dwyer, UNE

4. Western New England

Western New England will look to build on a solid 2018 campaign in which the Golden Bears went 5-3 in league play and earned the third seed in the CCC Tournament.

Three of Western New England's four All-CCC performers from last year are back in 2019, as senior attack Kristen Breen (Ellington, Conn.), junior attack Eileen Ruby (New Fairfield, Conn.) and sophomore midfielder Reilly Miller (Goshen, N.Y.) all earned Third Team honors last spring.

Breen led the Golden Bears with 48 points a year ago, while Ruby (44) and Miller (37) ranked second and third. Ruby also collected a team-high 52 draw controls last season.

Defensively, Western New England will be led by senior Rebecca Allen (Franklin, Mass.) and juniors Katie Luposello (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and Olivia Truenow (Franklin, Mass.), who started a combined 51 games in 2018. 

The 2019 season gets underway on Saturday, Feb. 23, when the Golden Bears travel to crosstown rival Springfield College. Western New England opens its home slate against Castleton on March 13, and CCC play begins at Wentworth on Sunday, March 24.

Kristen BreenWNE

5. Salve Regina

Head coach Bill Villareal enters his fifth season at the helm of the Seahawks. The Seahawks have made the postseason in three of Villareal's first four seasons. The Seahawks will have two returning All-CCC players from last year's squad, Gabrielle Majenski (Hanson, Mass.) and the team's leading scorer Maddie Villareal (Portsmouth, R.I.). The Seahawks return seven of their top eight scorers from last year. Lindsey Smith (North Attleboro, Mass.), Kerri Beland (Attleboro, Mass.), Villareal, Majenski, Kiley Anderson (East Greenwich, R.I.) captain this year's team that will look to build upon their run to the CCC Semifinals, the first since 2003, and just the third time in program history that they reached that point in the postseason.


Lindsey Smith, SRU

6. Gordon

Gordon women's lacrosse looks to use a combination of youth and experience for head coach Jane Ward's third season at the helm. Returning to the field is a trio of All-CCC First Team selections in Olivia McCarrick (Glen Burnie, Md.), Melanie Dwyer (Reading, Mass.), and reigning CCC Rookie of the Year Katelyn Dyer (Plainfield, N.J.).

McCarrick led Gordon in goals a year ago with 67 from the attack, while Dwyer returns to her post in the Scots' defense and midfielder Dyer looks to build upon her 57 goals from 2018.

The 2019 Scots open up the season on their home turf on Feb. 23 when they host Mount Holyoke for a noon start.


Katelyn Dyer, GC

7. Curry

The Curry women's lacrosse team enters the 2019 season coming off a 2019 campaign which saw it  finish with a 4-11 overall record with a 1-7 mark in the CCC. The squad begins its first season under head coach Anne O'Bryne. The team has a talented group of 10 returners and will look to eight newcomers to make an impact.

Sophomore Colleen Donnelly (Atkinson, N.H.) headlines the returners as she was named to the All-CCC Second Team as a freshman. She finished her first collegiate season with three goals, 42 ground balls, and 17 caused turnovers. The other All-CCC performer that is returning is junior Abby Dubel (Wolfeboro, N.H.), who closed her sophomore season with a team-high 42 points on 33 goals and nine assists. She also led the team in ground balls, draw controls, and caused turnovers. Other key returners include junior Leona Stevens (Kingston, Mass.) (44 points in 2018), sophomore Katie Parker (Branford, Conn.) (36 points in 2018), and junior Courtney Lima (New Bedford, Mass.) (18 points in 2018). Sophomore Allie Wysocki (Agawam, Mass.) and junior Kayla Merritt (Attleboro, Mass.) also return as double-digit point recorders from a year ago.  

The Colonels will turn over the cage to freshman Jessica Ginaitt (Warwick, R.I.), who looks to make an impression in year one. Curry will also count on the other newcomers to gain experience and contribute early and often.

Senior Angela Johns (Burrillville, R.I.) and Merritt will captain this year's team.

The 2019 Colonels kick off the season Tuesday, March 5 at home against Dean at 4 p.m.


Abby Dubel, CC

8. Wentworth

After a season filled with milestones and record-breakers, the Wentworth women's lacrosse team returns 15 letter-winners in search of its first CCC Postseason Tournament berth. Of the 15 returners, the Leopards welcome back two All-Conference selections, including two-time honoree Brooke Paradis (Pelham, N.H.), who led Wentworth to its winningest season with 62 goals, 22 assists, and 84 points. Paradis rewrote several notes in the Wentworth women's lacrosse record book and became the program's all-time points leader in March of last year. The Leopards will also rely on sophomore Emily Rogers (Pembroke, Mass.), who made her mark during her rookie campaign with 46 goals, nine assists, and 55 points. She also collected 98 draw controls last season, which ranked first overall among CCC opponents and first in the single-season record at Wentworth.

Wentworth will bow command to first-year head coach Hannah Pelletier, who is no stranger to the CCC after having spent three seasons as a standout defender for the Endicott Gulls. Pelletier also appeared in 14 games for the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils during her freshman campaign, and later landed an assistant coaching position at Southern New Hampshire University before coming to Wentworth.

The Leopards open the 2019 campaign with a trip to Puerto Rico, with games scheduled against Chatham University and Saint Joseph's College (Maine) on March 6 and 8.

 
Brooke Paradis, WIT

9. Nichols

The Nichols women's lacrosse program is looking to replace two of its top-three scorers from a year ago. Senior Kirsten Sullivan (Arlington, Mass.) returns after posting career-highs in goals (36) and points (45) last season while junior Miranda Smith (Methuen, Mass.) hopes to improve upon her 24-goal performance last year. Sophomore Lizz McKinnon (Quincy, Mass.) (25 GB, 16 CT in 2018) will patrol the midfield while freshmen Elizabeth Luster (Gloucester, Mass.) will help ease the loss of graduate Mellissa LaFleur, who set a program-record with 93 draw controls last season. Classmate Claire Matlack (Fiskdale, Mass.) will see time on both sides of the ball.


Kirsten Sullivan, NC

 

 

ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE

The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.

 

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