CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, led by first-year head coach Sarah Albrecht, was selected sixth the 2013 America East Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Tuesday afternoon.
UNH received 13 points in the poll, which has Stony Brook University sitting at the top with three first-place votes and 33 points. SBU is followed by University at Albany and Boston University in a tie for second at 29 points, UMBC (19), University of Vermont (17), UNH and Binghamton University (7).
The Wildcats, who tied for fifth in the final 2012 conference standings, are led by senior tri-captains Casey Doyle (Ivyland, Pa.), Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.). Doyle, a defender, started all 16 games a year ago and ranked fourth on the team in caused turnovers as well as fifth in ground balls. O'Keefe, a 2011 America East All-Conference Second Team selection, played in 10 of 16 games with seven starts in goal last season and made a career-high 14 saves in New Hampshire's 12-11 win against 12th-ranked Vanderbilt University. Simpson was in the starting lineup 11 times in 16 games played during the 2012 season; she ranked third on the team in goals and fourth in points after leading the 'Cats in goals in 2011.
UNH opens the season Feb. 16 (11 a.m.) at Hofstra University and plays its home opener Feb. 23 (1 p.m.) against the University of Massachusetts at Memorial Field. The Wildcats begin America East play March 24 at Albany.
The top four teams in the conference will advance to the America East Championship with the winner of the tournament receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship, where the league champion has advanced to the quarterfinal round twice since 2008. The league tournament, held May 3 and 5, will be hosted by the top seed.
2013 America East Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Stony Brook (3) 33
2. Albany (2) 29
Boston U. (1) 29
4. UMBC (1) 19
5. Vermont 17
6. UNH 13
7. Binghamton 7