Seeking Eighth Straight GNAC Crown, Lasell Women's Soccer Leads Way in Preseason Poll


Lasers garner 10 of
13 first-place votes

WINTHROP, Mass. – After receiving 164 points and 10 of a possible 13 first-place votes, Lasell College has taken the No. 1 spot in the 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, it was announced on Wednesday morning by the league office. The Lasers earned their seventh straight conference championship and trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament last fall, defeating Alberuts Magnus College in a thrilling title game, 2-1, scoring the game-winner with less than two minutes remaining. 

For the complete poll results, as voted upon by the league's 13 head coaches, please see below. 

While Lasell's 2016 campaign came to a close at 18-3-1 after an NCAA first-round loss to No. 13 Amherst, the Lasers will look to continue its unprecedented run of GNAC success under head coach Vito LaFrancesca, who is entering his 11th season and owns a career 140-51-15 (.716) record.

Johnson & Wales University garnered the remaining three first-place votes, earning 158 points to finish second in the preseason poll. The No. 3 through No. 5 teams were separated by a mere three points, with Simmons College coming in third with 127 points, followed by Saint Joseph's College of Maine in fourth with 126 points and Albertus Magnus in the fifth spot with 125 spots. 

Nine GNAC programs will begin their 2017 seasons next Friday, September 1, while Lasell kicks off its campaign on Sunday, September 3 when it hosts Brandeis. The GNAC Tournament Quarterfinals is slated for Saturday, October 28 at the four high seeds, with the GNAC Final set for Saturday, November 4 at the highest remaining seed. 

Emmanuel College finished sixth in the voting with 103 points, followed by Suffolk University with 87 points, University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) with 75 points, incoming member Regis (Mass.) with 64 points, and Norwich University rounding out the top-10 with 50 points. Rivier Unviersity, Mount Ida College and Anna Maria College took the final three spots in the poll. 

2017 GNAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Lasell (10) - 164
2. Johnson & Wales (3) - 158
3. Simmons - 127
4. Saint Joseph's of Maine - 126
5. Albertus Magnus - 125
6. Emmanuel - 103
7. Suffolk - 87
8. Saint Joseph (Conn.) - 75
9. Regis (Mass.) - 64
10. Norwich - 50
11. Rivier - 49
12. Mount Ida - 36
13. Anna Maria - 19 

Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and nearly 4,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.