Lasell Women’s Soccer Picked to Win Third Straight GNAC Title

BOSTON, Mass. – Coming off of back-to-back GNAC Women's Soccer championships, the Lasell College women's soccer team has been selected as the 2012 pre-season favorite in this year's GNAC Coaches Poll, receiving a total of 149 points and eight first place votes. Not far behind in second was Johnson & Wales University with 143 points and one first place vote while Albertus Magnus College rounded out the top three with 140 points and two first place votes. Norwich University was slated to finish fourth with 126 points while Simmons College finished with 114 points and two first place votes in fifth. With 11 points, the University of Saint Joseph (CT) was the sixth team in the league with more than 100 points, showing just how open this year's play could be.

The 2012 Lasell College women's soccer team will be mixing some new faces in with some key returnees. The Lasers face the challenge of replacing several key members of their 2011 squad, including All-New England goalkeeper Elizabeth Stickley, as well as Jessica Taylor and Jamie Harris who combined to score 24 goals a year ago. Outside backs Mary-Kate Dunphy and Jill Greaney return to anchor the Lasell defense, while Bridget Lynch will provide experience as an attacker who scored nine goals a year ago.

The JWU Wildcats return sophomore Kayla Sypek who finished last season with 21 points on eight goals and five assists but lose Katlyn Gerrish to graduation. Gerrish led the 2011 squad with 22 points on seven goals and a league high eight assists. The Wildcats will look to junior goalkeeper Kara Collins for strong play in net after she posted a 1.18 GAA average last season as JWU's main keeper.

The Albertus Magnus women's soccer team is coming off of its most successful season in program history as the Falcons earned 12 wins and their first-ever postseason victory. The Falcons bring back a veteran squad in 2012, including starting goalkeeper Christina Dineson who finished the 2011 season with 67 saves, while allowing just 15 goals on the year. The Falcons will look to fill the void left by Krystal Quiones and 2011 GNAC All-Conference First Team member Sarah Boudreau. Kelly Marchitto will headline the Falcons' roster as she was named to the GNAC All-Conference Third Team last season. Marchitto will serve as a team captain along with Meaghan Loughman, Sarah DiCenzo and Samantha Farley, who are all key returners to the 2012 squad.

Leading the way this year for Norwich University are the top four leading goal scorers from last season in senior Brittany Casey, junior Baylie Lamarre, junior Grace Fitzpatrick, and senior Courtney Parisot. Casey returns for her final season in a Cadets uniform after leading the team in scoring in each of her three prior years.  She finished second in scoring in the GNAC in 2011 with 15 goals and seven assists for a total of 37 points. 

After finishing 6th in the GNAC with a 8-8-3 overall record in 2011, Simmons returns 16 players to the roster. Three of the 2011 All-Conference selections; Justine Beauchamp, Katie McCarthy and Desh Perera will captain the 2012 squad. There will be many new faces wearing the Sharks uniform as 15 freshmen report to preseason. The Sharks will be young in the goal for 2012, with three rookies battling for the starting spot. This talented group will add speed to their attack, depth in the midfield and a toughness in the backline. With a tough non-conference schedule including three NCAA qualifiers from last year, the Sharks will be prepared to compete within the conference.

The University of Saint Joseph (CT) will look to junior Patricia Nolan to lead the offensive unit after she finished third in the GNAC in 2011 in goals (14) and points (32).

Following the Blue Jays in the poll was Emmanuel College with 90 points in seventh place just ahead of Saint Joseph's College (ME) in eighth place with 84 points. Suffolk University was right behind them in the ninth spot with 82 points before Emerson College rounded out the top 10 with 51 points.

Rounding out the poll were Rivier College with 47 points, Mount Ida College with 32 points and Anna Maria College with 14 points.

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference is an NCAA Division III conference made up of 13 institutions with nine associate members. In 2012-13, the GNAC will sponsor championships in 17 sports for men and women. The GNAC also enjoys outstanding professional partnerships with Children's Hospital Sports Medicine Division, Doubletree Hotels, Fenway Printers, New Balance, Reading Trophy and Presto Sports.

 

2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Pre-Season Coaches' Poll

Rank

Institution

First Place

Total Points

1

Lasell College

8

149

2

Johnson & Wales University

1

143

3

Albertus Magnus College

2

140

4

Norwich University

 

126

5

Simmons College

2

114

6

University of Saint Joseph (CT)

 

111

7

Emmanuel College

 

90

8

Saint Joseph's College (ME)

 

84

9

Suffolk University

 

82

10

Emerson College

 

51

11

Rivier University

 

47

12

Mount Ida College

 

32

13

Anna Maria College

 

14