Two-time All-American Samantha Lynott returns for the Skyhawks after leading the team in goals, assists and points in 2011. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Skyhawks picked third in NE-10 preseason poll, earn top ten national recognition
Stonehill has been picked third in the Northeast-10 Conference preseason coaches' poll, eighth in the Lacrosse Magazine Division II preseason rankings and ninth in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) preseason poll. The Skyhawks are coming off a 2011 season in which it posted a 15-4 overall record, including a 10-2 clip in NE-10 play to finish third in the Conference before advancing to the semifinal round of the NE-10 Tournament.
Stonehill received 119 points in the NE-10 preseason poll in which defending NCAA Division II National Champions Adelphi University (20-0, 12-0 NE-10) is the preseason favorite with seven first place votes and 137 points, followed closely by NE-10 tournament runners up Le Moyne College (18-3, 11-1 NE-10) who also collected 137 points, but just five first place votes.
Lacrosse Magazine ranks Stonehill eighth in its preseason edition due to its defensive strength as the Skyhawks are one of four NE-10 programs listed in its top ten, led by preseason favorite Le Moyne and Adelphi second. Stonehill, ranked ninth in the IWLCA preseason top 15, is one of six NE-10 teams in that poll, which is again led by co-number ones Adelphi and Le Moyne who each collected seven first place votes and 214 points. LIU-C.W. Post (13-4, 7-1 ECC) received the remaining first place vote and is ranked fifth in the preseason poll.
Junior All-American Rebecca Moore will anchor the Skyhawks defensive unit in 2012. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Stonehill head coach Katie Conover, entering her fifth season at the helm of her alma mater, returns 14 letterwinners, including eight starters, from last year's squad which ranked third in the NE-10 (6th nationally) for goals scored (16.3/gm) and team goals against average (7.90 – 6th nationally), while leading Division II with 14.9 caused turnovers per game, while committing just 15.0 turnovers (3rd NE-10).
Senior attack Samantha Lynott (Holbrook, N.Y./East Sachem), a two-time All-American, heads a talented list of returnees for Stonehill after leading the Skyhawks with 59 goals (9th NE-10) and 23 assists for 82 points (7th) in 19 games last spring to go with 50 draw controls, 38 ground balls and 29 caused turnovers. Senior midfielder Sarah Galligan (West Newbury, Mass./Pentucket Regional), an All-American in 2010, also returns and has already been named one of "20 Headliners for 2012" by New England Lacrosse Journal after totaling 46 goals and ten assists for 56 points in 19 games last spring with 53 ground balls, 42 draw controls and a team-high 43 caused turnovers (2nd NE-10/3rd DII). Classmate Kaitlyn Wood (North Massapequa, N.Y./Saint Anthony's) joins those two as captains of the 2012 squad. She totaled seven goals and four assists for 11 points in six games last season.
Junior All-Americans Kelsey Reilly (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) and Rebecca Moore (Marlborough, Mass./St. Mark's School) also head up the list of returnees for Stonehill. Reilly had a breakout year in 2011 to collect consensus All-America honors from the IWLCA and womenslacrosse.com after totaling 36 goals and nine assists for 45 points in 18 games with 40 ground balls, 35 draw controls and 34 caused turnovers. Moore, an All-American as a freshman in 2010 started all 19 games in goal for the Skyhawks last spring and posted an 8.11 goals against average (3rd NE-10/5th DII) and .490 save percentage (3rd/9th) in 1,079:41 in the net, averaging 7.5 saves per game.
Stonehill opens its 2012 season on Wednesday, March 7, when it visits Dowling College, ranked No. 4 in the Lacrosse Magazine preseason rankings and 6th in the IWLCA preseason poll. The Skyhawks home opener is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21, when they open their NE-10 schedule against Saint Anselm College at 4 p.m. Stonehill will play six teams ranked in the Lacrosse Magazine preseason top ten and eight teams in the IWLCA preseason top 15.