2013 Liberty League Preseason Women's Lacrosse Poll

After capturing the first Liberty League championship in program history in 2012, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has been selected as the preseason favorite in 2013 in a vote of the league's head coaches. The Engineers received 77 points and five first-place votes. RIT, with 68 points and three first-place votes, was picked second. Union (63) and St. Lawrence (58) rounded out the top four.

Last season, RPI enjoyed the finest season in program history, going 16-2 overall and 8-1 in Liberty League play. The Engineers averaged more than 13 goals per game while holding their opponents to 7.9 goals per game. With six of the team's top seven scorers returning from last season, there is no reason to believe the success won't continue. Junior Meg Colitz and senior Shannon Maguire, who both earned second team All-Liberty League honors, combined for 77 goals last season. Senior goalkeeper Allie Arnal, the league's defensive player of the year last season, led the Liberty League in both goals against average (8.00) and save percentage (.531).

RIT had a strong first season in the Liberty League after moving from the Empire 8. The Tigers finished 7-2 and earned the No. 2 seed in the league tournament. RIT had the top scoring offense in the Liberty League to the tune of 15.44 goals per game. Senior Shelby Vakiener was selected as the league's player of the year after recording league-leading totals of 78 goals, 37 assists and 115 points. Her average of 6.71 points per game ranked third in the nation in Division III. Sophomore Marlee Vlassis had a strong rookie campaign for the Tigers. Vlassis, who earned All-Liberty league first-time honors, recorded 40 goals and 22 assists.

Union was picked third in the preseason poll after finishing in a three-way tie at 7-2. The team's two losses in league play were one-goal losses to RIT and William Smith. Union also handed RPI its only loss in Liberty League play. Sophomore Emily McGrail was selected as the Liberty League rookie of the year last season after leading the Dutchwomen with 47 goals and 53 points. A challenging non-conference schedule will help prepare Union for Liberty League play.

St. Lawrence, which finished fifth in the league with a 6-3 record last season, was picked to finish fourth. St. Lawrence returns a strong core of players led by senior Brigid Hurley, an All-Liberty League second-team selection who led the Saints in scoring with 43 goals last season. Senior midfielders Holly Noyes and Stephanie O'Rourke and junior defender Tasha Cornell-Roberts also garnered All-Liberty League honors last season.

The Liberty League women's lacrosse season begins on Feb. 25 when RIT travels to Greensboro, N.C., for its season-opener against Guilford College.

2013 Liberty League Preseason Women's Lacrosse Poll
1. RPI, 77 (5)
2. RIT, 68 (3)
3. Union, 63
4. St. Lawrence, 58 (1)
5. William Smith, 55 (1)
6. Skidmore, 44
7. Vassar, 30
8. Rochester, 26
9. Clarkson, 19
10. Bard, 10

Returning All-Liberty League Performers from 2012

BARD
Jonanna Regan, So., M (2nd)

CLARKSON
Alyssa Cristaldi, Sr., A (1st)

RPI
Allie Arnal, Sr., G (1st)
Meg Colitz, Jr., A (2nd)
Shannon Maguire, Sr., A (2nd)

ROCHESTER
Elizabeth Kilbridge, So., D (2nd)

RIT
Carly Augustyn, Sr., D (HM)
Katelyn Crane, Sr., G (HM)
Shelby Vakiener, Sr., M (1st)
Marlee Vlassis, So., A (1st)

ST. LAWRENCE
Tasha Cornell-Roberts, Jr., D (2nd)
Brigid Hurley, Sr., A (2nd)
Holly Noyes, Sr., M (2nd)
Stephanie O'Rourke, Sr., M (HM)

UNION
Emily McGrail, So., M (1st)

VASSAR
Dara Davis, So., A (HM)
Phoebe Tzannes, Jr., M (HM)

WILLIAM SMITH
Rachel Hughes, So., D (HM)
Kathleen Ragan, Sr., A (HM)

2013-02-21



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