Northeast Conference 2012 Preseason Poll

Central Connecticut State (7-9, 2-7) will look to make some noise in the NEC under new coach Kelly Nangle. Nangle is no stranger to the NEC as she was a four-time All-Conference selection for Mount St. Mary's where she currently ranks among the program's top-10 all-time in ground balls, caused turnovers and draw controls. The Blue Devils, who won a program-best seven games in 2011, return second team All-Conference and 2010 NEC Rookie of the Year Betsey Vendel (Sandy Hook, CT/Newtown), who led the league with 3.75 points per game while ranking second in assists with 1.24 per game. The Connecticut native totaled a team-high 60 points (31 goals and 29 assists) in 2011 and will also look to add onto the Blue Devil career assists record, which she shattered during her sophomore season. Defensively, CCSU will look to senior goalkeeper Erin DeLancey (Saratoga Springs, NY/Saratoga Springs),who brings a wealth of experience to the field as well as a 10.81 saves per game average and 3.19 ground balls per game average.

Saint Francis (PA) (5-12, 1-8) returns its top three offensive producers from 2011, as the Red Flash look to crack the NEC's top tier in 2012 under first year head coach Gregg Gebhard. Senior and second team All-Conference selection Kate Simmons (Delran, NJ/Delran) will be leading the charge for the Flash after she finished the season first in the league with 3.53 draws per game while putting up a team-high 57 points. Danielle Conwell (Succasunna, NJ/Roxbury), a junior,and senior Catherine Helming (Canandaigua, NY/Canandaigua) will add offensive ammunition, finishing as the second and third high scorers, respectively, in 2011.

Wagner (4-12, 3-6) under fourth year head coach Cristina Curiale, will look to make an impact as the Seahawks return their top three offensive producers in Carolyn Clark (Syracuse, NY/West Hill), Lauren Petrik (Syracuse, NY/Baldwinsville) and Sam Morin (Rockville Centre, NY/South Side). Clark, a senior and the team's leading scorer, posted 29 goals and eight assists in 2011 while Petrik dished out 24 helpers and 11 goals. In addition to her 20 goals, Morin also brings experience after playing in every game of her freshman campaign. Casey Lindine (Easton, CT/Joel Barlow) will look to be a spark on defense in her senior season after she racked up 22 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers as a junior.

Looking to climb the ladder this season under fourth-year coach Heather Levins will be the Blackbirds of LIU Brooklyn (1-8, 1-15). With a roster that sports just three upperclassman, the Blackbirds will rely heavily on the underclassmen including NEC All-Rookie team member Katie Williams (Charlottesville, VA/Albemarle), who made an impact at both ends of the field in her first year. The freshman midfielder started in every game in 2011 and was second on the team in scoring as she posted 22 goals and five assists for a .702 shoot percentage. She also tallied 29 ground balls, collected 27 draw controls and created 13 caused turnovers. Kimberly Kovar (Bethpage, NY/Plainedge) and Shakoya Smith (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) will also look to build on solid freshman campaigns.

The NEC Women's Lacrosse championship will be held at the institution of the highest-seed over the weekend of April 27-29.

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2012-02-08



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