DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, the defending America East regular season and tournament conference champion, is No. 14 in the IWLCA Preseason Poll that was released Tuesday. UNH was ranked 17th in the 2004 final poll.
Earlier this month, the Wildcats were selected second in the America East preseason poll as well as ranked No. 17 in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll.
UNH returns a total of 15 letterwinners, including nine starters, from the 2004 team that advanced to the NCAA tournament, went 15-5 overall and 6-0 in America East.
The Wildcats boast the conference's reigning Player of the Year in Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.), Rookie of the Year in Cristina Covucci (Concord, Mass.) and Coach of the Year in Sandy Bridgeman, who enters her ninth season as UNH's head coach.
Burnap broke the program's single-season goals record with 72 last year and finished with 81 points. The 'Cats also return the top scorer in America East, Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.), who shattered the single-season points record with 90 on 60 goals and 30 assists. This high scoring duo, as well as Laura Dosdall (Wellesley, Mass.), Renee Nemmers (Englewood, Colo.), Stacey Plati (Nashua, N.H.) and Covucci, earned All-Conference First Team honors last season.
New Hampshire begins the season March 1 (3:30 p.m.) at the College of the Holy Cross. The first Wildcat home game is March 9 (3 p.m.) vs. Yale.