BOSTON - The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, which has advanced to the America East semifinals each of the past four years, was selected second in the 2002 America East preseason poll that was released Tuesday.
UNH garnered one first-place vote and a total of 21 points to place behind Boston University, which received the other four first-place votes and 24 points. UNH is followed by Vermont (14 points) and newcomers Albany (9) and Binghamton (7).
The Wildcats, under the direction of 2001 Coach of the Year Sandy Bridgeman, are coming off an 11-7 season (3-3 conference) in which the team broke school records for both goals (210) and points (283) in a season. The 11 victories were the most by a Wildcat team since the 1991 squad also recorded 11 wins.
The 2002 team will be led offensively by junior Jessie Groszkowski (Reistertown, Md.). An America East All-Conference First Team selection last year, she was second on the team in both goals (42) and points (48). Classmate Danielle Martin (Ellicott City, Md.) will anchor the defense as UNH's top goaltender. In two years as a platoon player, she has recorded a 3-4 record with a 9.95 GAA and a .516 save percentage.
UNH has three players from the Granite State, including senior co-captain Meagan Clavin (Grantham) and classmate Molly Cherington (Meriden). Also on the squad is freshman Jill Albee (Pembroke).
The top four teams in the conference will participate in the America East Championship, which will be held May 2-4 at the site of the No. 1 seed.
New Hampshire begins its quest to the 2002 America East title this weekend when the Wildcats open the 2002 season March 3 against Dartmouth College. The game is currently scheduled at Cowell Stadium with a 1 p.m. starting time.