CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, under the guidance of second-year head coach Michael Daly, was picked fourth in the 2011 America East Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Wednesday afternoon.
The Wildcats received one first-place vote and a total of 23 points. Boston University is the preseason favorite with three first-place votes and 33 points, followed by University at Albany (29 points; two first-place votes), UMBC (27; one) and UNH. The University of Vermont (17), Stony Brook University (12) and Binghamton University (6) complete the poll.
New Hampshire returns 14 letterwinners – including two America East All-Conference First Team, two Second Team and four All-Rookie Team selections – from last year's team that went 10-7 overall and 4-2 in America East. The 2011 'Cats are led by senior captain Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.) as well as junior captains Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass.) and Hayley Rausch (Severna Park, Md.).
The top four teams in the conference will advance to the America East Championship, which will be held May 6 & 8 at the site of the top seed. The winner of the league tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship.
UNH opens the 2011 season on the road against regional rival College of the Holy Cross on Feb. 23 (4 p.m.). The Wildcats' home opener is March 2 against another regional rival, the University of Massachusetts. Game time at Memorial Field is 4 p.m.