CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The UMBC women's lacrosse team was predicted to finish third in the America East standings, according to a vote of the league's head coaches, the conference announced Wednesday. Six-time defending champion Boston University is the preseason favorite to win its seventh straight league title.
The Terriers earned 33 points and three out of a possible six first-place votes, as head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams. The Retrievers garnered 27 points, including one first-place vote, and finished just two points behind second-place Albany, the 2010 regular-season champion, which received 29 points and two first-place votes. New Hampshire garnered the final first-place nod and followed closely behind the Retrievers with 23 points.
Vermont (17), Stony Brook (12) and Binghamton (6) rounded out the seven-team poll. The top four teams in the conference will advance to the America East Championship May 5-7.
Under first-year head coach Kelly Berger, The Retrievers had a breakout season in 2010, posting an 11-7 record and reaching the America East title game for the first time ever, despite missing the tournament in each of the previous three seasons. UMBC returns more than 80 percent of its offense from a year ago, when the Retrievers scored 223 goals, their most since 2003, and ranked second in the America East with 12.39 goals per game. The top five scorers from last season are back, including four 30-goal scorers – junior Emily Coady (35) and seniors Amanda Pappas (34), Ashley Stodter (33) and Erika Braerman (32).
Braerman and Pappas both earned all-conference second-team honors, along with Rookie of the Year defender Jamie Fahey, who was also selected to the IWLCA Mid-Atlantic Region second team after leading UMBC with 35 draw controls and ranking second wit h39 ground balls.
UMBC opens the season on Friday at 5 p.m. against George Mason.
2011 Preseason Poll
Rank Team (1st-place votes) Total
1. Boston U. (3) 33
2. Albany (2) 29
3. UMBC (1) 27
4. New Hampshire (1) 23
5. Vermont 17
6. Stony Brook 12
7. Binghamton 6