Women's Lacrosse Picked Third In NEC Preseason Poll
EMMITSBURG, Md. – The Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse team has been picked third in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll, announced on Wednesday.
Quinnipiac, the defending regular season and tournament champion, picked up six first-place votes to be selected as the preseason favorite. Robert Morris was picked second in the poll while the Mount nabbed two first-place votes to come in at No. 3. Monmouth and Sacred Heart each grabbed the final two first-place nods to finish fourth and fifth while Bryant, Central Connecticut State, Saint Francis (Pa.), Wagner and LIU Brooklyn rounded out the 10-team poll.
Mount St. Mary's returns eight of its Top-10 scorers from last year, including seniors Jen Semler (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall), Nicole Price (White Hall, Md./North Harford) and Esther Rufolo (Woodstock, Md./Chapelgate Christian Academy). Semler, an All-NEC first-team selection in 2011, paced the Mount with 38 goals and 15 assists for 53 points. Price scored the game-winning goal with 21 seconds left in a 10-9 victory against Sacred Heart on Apr. 23, 2011 to propel the Mountaineers into the postseason and ranked second on the squad with 37 tallies and eight assists for 45 points. Rufolo, a two-time All-NEC selection, was third on the team with 35 goals and six assists for 41 points. Rufolo also had a team-high 52 draw controls last season. Kaitlyn Larrimore (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) was named to the All-Rookie team after posting 17 markers and one assist for 18 points.
Sophomore Gabe Little (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) is the Mount's top returning defender after leading the team with 17 caused turnovers and registering 29 ground balls and nine draw controls. Sophomore midfielder Lindsay Diaz (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) ranked third with 14 caused turnovers while also contributing 25 ground balls, nine caused turnovers and six goals and two assists for eight points.
Senior Brigid McTavish (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) returns for her senior season after posting an 11.04 goals against average, a .400 save percentage and 136 saves last season.
The Mount finished 8-11 overall last season and 6-3 in the NEC. The Mountaineers have advanced to the NEC Tournament nine-consecutive seasons and in 13 of the 14 campaigns since joining the conference. The squad advanced to the NEC Championship Game for the fifth time in program history in 2011.
Mount St. Mary's begins the second season under head coach B.J. Johnson on Feb. 22 at home against Johns Hopkins. Game time is 4 p.m. The Blue Jays are receiving votes in the IWLCA Preseason Poll.