BOSTON – UMBC women's lacrosse was picked to finish fifth in the annual America East Preseason Coachces' Poll, as announced by the league office on Wednesday.
Stony Brook was picked to finish first after winning the America East tournament championship a season ago. The Seawolves earned six first-place votes and 36 total votes. Albany, the second seed in last year's America East Championships, was picked to finish in second with 29 votes.
New Hampshire earned the final first-place vote and received 27 overall votes for a third-place finish after earning the fourth seed in last season's conference tournament. Vermont rounded out the top-four with 21 votes after posting a 3-2 record in America East play.
The Retrievers, who posted a 1-4 record in league action last season, was chosen to finish in fifth (17 votes), followed by Binghamton (11) and league-newcomer UMass Lowell (six).
UMBC posted a 7-9 record last season and co-head coaches Tony Giro and Amy (Appelt) Slade return 19 letterwinners and seven starters in their third season at the helm of the program.
"We can't wait to start playing lacrosse," said Slade. "It has been a great preseason so far and we are excited to face another team. We have a challenging non-conference schedule that will prepare us for a very tough conference slate."
The Retrievers return their top two point-getters in senior midfielder Alyssa Semones (Westminster, Md./Westminster/Penn State) and senior Abby Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston). Semones earned America East Second Team honors for the second straight season after piloting UMBC's offense with a team-best 27 goals and 32 points. She picked up a career-best 37 ground balls, ranking third in the conference (2.31 ground balls per game). Wilson led the team in points (33) and posted 20-plus goals for the third straight season (21). She added 12 assists, second on the team, and was tied for eighth in the Amerca East in game-winning goals (two).
The Retrievers open the 2015 season at Temple on Wednesday, Feb. 11, followed by their home opener versus La Salle on Saturday, Feb. 14. UMBC begins America East play at UMBC Stadium on Saturday, March 21 against Binghamton. The America East Championships are set for May 1-3, with the highest seed scheduled to host the event.