Northeast Conference 2011 Preseason Poll

Wagner (3-13, 2-7 NEC) hopes to make a jump up the NEC standings this season under third year head coach Cristina Curiale. The Seahawks have nine starters back in the fold, including second team All-NEC midfielder Carolyn Clark (Syracuse, NY/Westhill). Clark, a junior, is a prolific goal scorer who has paced Wagner in each of her first two seasons. She scored 38 times last year to rank eighth on the circuit with 2.38 per game. Clark's 11 free position goals was the fifth-best mark in the league and she also recorded 34 draw controls and a team-high 40 points. Sophomore attacker Annie O'Connor (Syracuse, NY/Westhill) was a former high school teammate of Clark in Syracuse. She ended the 2010 season with 16 goals and was voted to the NEC All-Rookie team.

Bryant (3-6, 3-13) enters its second year of NEC competition with a decidedly different look. Only four starters are back in the fold and 10 freshman appear on the roster for head coach Karen Healy, now in her ninth year patrolling the sidelines. Healy can build around sophomore defender Nicole Rettinger (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West). She was the lone freshman to earn All-NEC honors last season, landing on the first team after she posted a league-leading 2.06 caused turnovers per game and ranked third with 2.88 ground balls per contest. Rettinger, who was also named to the All-Rookie squad, paced the Bulldogs with 27 draw controls. Leading scorer Lauren Sheridan (Bethpage, NY/Bethpage) returns for her junior campaign. Sheridan, an attacker, topped Bryant with 38 goals, 10 assists and 48 points. Her 16 free position goals tied for most in the NEC and she was eighth in the league with 2.38 goals per game. Junior Lauren Filippone (West Babylon, NY/West Babylon) returns in goal. She finished fourth in the conference last season with a .468 save percentage.

Saint Francis (PA) (6-11, 2-7 NEC) was the NEC's most improved team last season, lifting its win total by five to set a school record with six victories. What started as the NEC's youngest team two years ago has matured under fifth year head coach Steph Marcon, and now features nine returning starters, seven of whom are upperclassmen. High scoring midfielder Kate Simmons (Delran, NJ/Delran) is back for her junior campaign after posting team-high totals last season with 41 goals, 17 assists and 58 points. She led the NEC with 3.59 draw controls per game and was just one of two players in the conference to rank in the NEC top-10 in scoring (sixth, 3.41/game), free position goals (sixth, 0.65/game), goals (seventh, 2.41/game) and assists (seventh, 1.0/game). Sophomore attacker Danielle Conwell (Succasunna, NJ/Roxbury) was an NEC All-Rookie honoree after she ended the 2010 season ranked second on the Red Flash with 29 goals and 36 draws. She was also a two-time NEC Rookie of the Week. Danielle Pokusa (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson), a three-year starter in goal, is the lone senior on the squad.

Long Island (3-13, 2-7 NEC) must replace three of its top-five scorers and work 10 first year players into the mix in search of its first NEC Tournament berth. Head coach Heather Levins, now in her second season, does bring back a pair of proven attackers in seniors Annie Kalata (Nesconset, NY/Smithtown East) and Jenna Schauder (Jackson, NJ/Jackson). Kalata has led the Blackbirds with 38 goals in each of the past two seasons. She ranked eighth on the loop with 2.38 goals per game in 2010. Schauder finished third on Long Island with 24 points on 18 goals and six assists. Junior keeper Jacqueline Simonian (Farmingdale, NY/Plainedge) returns for his third season in net.

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2011-02-09



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