Northeast Conference 2014 Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll

SMITHFIELD, R.I. After falling just short of a Northeast Conference Championship in its first season eligible, Bryant University has been selected as the 2014 preseason favorite by the league's head coaches, as announced Tuesday afternoon.

The Bulldogs received six of a possible seven first-place votes, with Mount St. Mary's securing the final two. The Mount is slated to finish second in the preseason order. Sacred Heart is predicted to take third, with Robert Morris and Central Connecticut rounding out the top five, respectively.

Saint Francis U, Wagner and LIU Brooklyn complete the preseason ladder in sixth through eighth, respectively. Bryant finished third last season with a 6-3 conference record (10-8 overall), advancing all the way to the NEC Tournament title match-up.

"I'm so proud for our program to receive its first-ever No. 1 preseason ranking," said head coach Jill DePetris-Batcheller. "The last two years, we have come so far to prove ourselves among such tough league competition. We know that it's going to be a fight to keep that top ranking this season, but we are excited to take on the challenge."

2014 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Bryant (6)
2. Mount St. Mary's (2)
3. Sacred Heart
4. Robert Morris
5. Central Connecticut
6. Saint Francis
7. Wagner
8. LIU Brooklyn

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The Sacred Heart University women's lacrosse team was selected third in the annual preseason poll of Northeast Conference head coaches, announced Tuesday afternoon. The Pioneers open the 2014 campaign on Friday when they host Fairfield University at 2 p.m. on Campus Field.

The Pioneers, who posted a 6-9 mark a season ago, were voted behind preseason favorite, Bryant University and Mount St. Mary's University. Robert Morris College was tabbed fourth, followed by Central Connecticut State University, Saint Francis University, Wagner College and LIU Brooklyn.

Shelby Vaccaro (Brightwaters, NY) led the squad in all three scoring categories last season, touching net 36 times, with 21 assists for 57 total points. Junior goalkeeper Kelly Keenan returns following a season in which she made 110 saves as she played 840 minutes in goal.

Laura Cook is now in her 15th season as head coach of the Pioneers. The three-time NEC Coach of the Year has posted 131 victories during her tenure at Sacred Heart.

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WALTHAM, Mass. The 2014 Northeast-10 Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll was released on Tuesday, and Bentley was picked sixth with 91 points.

The Falcons, ranked No. 15 in the IWLCA's Division II Preseason Poll, went 11-7 overall last season and 9-3 in NE-10 play to qualify for the conference playoffs. New head coach Kerry Hausdorf takes over a team that returns seven of its top-10 scorers from 2013 and four All-Conference selections.

Attack Taylor Bastien (North Kingstown, R.I./North Kingstown) returns as the team's leading scorer after scoring 33 goals and handing out 26 assists for 59 points. The four returning All-Conference selections are senior midfielder Carolyn Kynoch (Ashland, Mass./Ashland), junior defender Amy Ernst (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central), sophomore attack Tori Cerny (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) and senior goalie Ally Dorman (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury), who was also named a preseason All-America by Lacrosse Magazine.

The top-spot in the poll was taken by Adelphi with seven of 13 first-place votes and 137 points. Defending NE-10 champions Le Moyne came in second with four first-place votes and 134 points. New Haven is third with one first-place vote and 115 points, Stonehill is fourth with 114 points and Saint Anselm claimed the final first-place vote and 97 points to come in fifth.

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