February 8, 2011

WLAX: DOLPHINS PICKED SECOND IN NORTHEAST-10 CONFERENCE COACHES POLL

South Easton, Mass. - The Le Moyne College women's lacrosse team has been selected to finish second in its inaugural season in the Northeast-10 Conference, as voted upon by the league's 13 head coaches and announced by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.

Le Moyne, which posted a 9-6 record at the Division I level last year, received three of the possible 13 first-place votes to finish with 130 points. Adelphi, which has won the last two National Championships and won the Northeast-10 in its first year in the league last year, picked up nine first-place votes to top the poll with 140 points.

Stonehill, which suffered three of its four losses last year to Adelphi, was selected third with 119 points. Merrimack, which received the final first-place vote, was tabbed fourth with 99 points a season after finishing in third-place with a 9-2 conference record. New Haven landed in fifth place with 96 points, while Bentley was picked to round out the conference tournament field with 94 points for a sixth-place finish.

Southern New Hampshire started off the bottom half of the standings by garnering 89 points for seventh place, while Franklin Pierce was picked eighth with 62 points. American International (54), Saint Anselm (52), Saint Michael's (31), Assumption (28) and Southern Connecticut (13) rounded out the final five spots of the standings.

Le Moyne, which won nine of its final 12 games last year, including seven straight to close out the month of March, returns 19 letterwinners and 10 starters from 2010. The Dolphins return their top three scorers and five players that recorded at least 20 points. Junior midfielder Brittany Brigandi (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy/UMass) tallied 29 goals and three assists in nine games. Senior midfielders Rebekah Elmer (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesee) and Mia Valletta (Niskayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna) netted 25 and 24 goals, respectively, over the 15-game slate. Senior Michelle Phillips (Johnson City, N.Y./Maine Endwell) posted 23 points, while sophomore Brenna Bauer (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) recorded 20 points in her first collegiate season. Defensively, the Dolphins are led by seniors Nerissa Barzee (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) and Katlin Walker (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan) and junior goalkeeper Kelly Fucillo (Camillus, N.Y./West Genesee). Barzee caused 11 turnovers, picked up 28 ground balls and scored 11 goals, while Walker led the team in caused turnovers (18) and ground balls (39) and recorded three points. In between the pipes, Fucillo averaged 9.47 saves per game, the second-best average in the program's history and posted a 9.59 goals against average, the ninth-best mark in the program's history.

The Dolphins open the season on Friday, March 4th at home against East Stroudsburg at 3:00 p.m. The contest will mark the first women's lacrosse game held at the athletic turf complex that was opened this past fall. The six-team Northeast-10 tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 4. The final four teams will meet at the site of the highest remaining seed for the semifinals on Saturday, May 7 and the finals being played on Sunday, May 8.

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2011 Northeast-10 Conference Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll

1. Adelphi (9) 140, 2. Le Moyne (3) 130, 3. Stonehill 119, 4. Merrimack (1) 99, 5. New Haven 96, 6. Bentley 94, 7. Southern New Hampshire 89, 8. Franklin Pierce 62, 9. American International 54, 10. Saint Anselm 52, 11. Saint Michael's 31, 12. Assumption 28, 13. Southern Connecticut State 14. (First place votes in parentheses)