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WOMEN'S SOCCER: Saint Joseph's of Maine Tops Tight 2019 GNAC Preseason Poll


Monks seeking repeat after ending
Lasell's eight-year GNAC title run

WINTHROP, Mass. – After longtime Great Northeast Athletic Conference powerhouse Lasell University had won every conference championship since 2010, Saint Joseph's College of Maine last fall captured its first-ever title in women's soccer with a 1-0 victory on the road over the Lasers.

Despite losing 2018 GNAC Offensive Player of the Year Haley DaGraca, seventh-year head coach Jenelle Harris and her Monks program still received six of a possible 13 first-place votes for 159 points to lead the way in the 2019 GNAC Preseason Poll, as voted upon by the league's head coaches.

Lasell finished second in the poll with three first-place votes and 150 points, followed closely by Johnson & Wales University (RI) with three first-place nods and 149 points. Emmanuel College slotted fourth with the remaining first-place tally and 135 points.

In last year's GNAC Tournament, Lasell needed overtime to defeat Emmanuel in the semifinals, while JWU fell to SJC, 4-2. 

Rounding out the top-five was Regis College with 113 points, followed by Simmons University with 98 points, Colby-Sawyer College with 94 points, the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) with 69 points, Norwich University with 65 points, and Suffolk University with 61 points.

Making up the remainder of the poll were Albertus Magnus College, Rivier University, and Anna Maria College. 

Saint Joe's will open up the 2019 campaign on Friday, August 30 at UNE before hosting Husson on Sunday, September 1. The Monks will have to wait until their final two conference contests to face JWU and Lasell, hosting the Wildcats on Saturday, October 26 before traveling to the Lasers on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Vito LaFrancesca's Lasell program will open up against Gordon and Endicott at the Gordon Classic on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1. The Lasers will travel to JWU in a GNAC matchup on Wednesday, Oct. 2., while JWU gets set to to open up the season in upstate New York at Clarkson and at St. Lawrence on Aug. 30-31. 
The GNAC Tournament dates are slated for November 2, Nov. 5, and Nov. 9 at high seeds throughout. Be sure to catch all of the regular-season and tournament action live on or watch on one of our four custom digital streaming apps. Broadcasts are produced by host institutions.

2019 GNAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Saint Joseph's of Maine (6) - 159
2. Lasell (3) - 150
3. Johnson & Wales (3) - 149
4. Emmanuel (1) - 135
5. Regis - 113
6. Simmons - 98
7. Colby-Sawyer - 94
8. Saint Joseph (CT) - 69
9. Norwich - 65
10. Suffolk - 61
11. Albertus Magnus - 45
12. Rivier - 32
13. Anna Maria - 13

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.