EMMITSBURG, Md. - The Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse team has been picked to finish third, according to the Northeast Conference (NEC) Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll announced on Wednesday.
Monmouth, the defending NEC Tournament champions, has been tabbed as the preseason favorite while Quinnipiac picked up the final two first-place nods to place second in the poll. It will be the Hawks and Bobcats last year in the league with both programs slated to move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 2014. The Mount finished third in the poll and was followed by Central Connecticut State, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, Bryant, Wagner, Saint Francis and LIU Brooklyn in the 10-team poll.
Fresh off its second-straight NEC Tournament Championship Game appearance, the Mount returns three of its top five scorers from last season. Senior Kaitlyn Larrimore (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) paced the team with 31 goals and four assists for 35 points while 2012 All-Rookie team selection Erin Seipp (Towson, Md./Notre Dame Preparatory) was third on the squad with 23 tallies and eight assists for 31 points. Junior Lindsey Diaz (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) was fourth with 19 goals for 19 points and paced the team with 64 draw controls to earn a spot on the All-NEC second team.
The defense is led by juniors Gabe Little (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) and Annie Battista (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) and sophomore Melissa Cox (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll), who each started all 19 games in the Mount defense. Little, an All-NEC second-team selection in 2012, fueled the Mountaineers with 36 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers. Battista had 17 ground balls and seven caused miscues while Cox added 25 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers in her first season.
With the graduation of goalkeeper Bridget McTavish, Mount St. Mary's will have a new net minder minding the pipes in 2013.
The Mount finished its second year under head coach B.J. Johnson with an 8-11 overall mark and 6-3 in NEC play and advanced to the NEC title game for the second-straight season and the sixth time in program history,
Mount St. Mary's opens the 2013 campaign at La Salle on Feb. 16. Match time is 1 p.m.