Morrisville State Picked First in 2019 NEAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll

Morrisville State Picked First in 2019 NEAC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – After winning back-to-back titles for the first time in program history last year, Morrisville State will enter the new season as the top team in the 2019 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll.

In a top three separated by just 10 points, defending champion Morrisville State earned the top spot in the poll with 79 points and seven first-place votes. The Mustangs return with eight starters and five all-conference selections, including Courtney Cavellier (Rodman, N.Y.) who was also an IWLCA All-Region player. Cavellier scored 31 goals and 12 assists for 73 points to go along with 44 ground balls and 111 draw controls in 2018. Jillian Hughes (Brookfield, N.Y.), Celia Abbott (Shortsville, N.Y.) and Chelsea McNeal (Ithaca, N.Y.) are also expected to be top offensive threats as the trio of all-conference honorees combined for 128 points last season. Defensively, NEAC All-Conference First Team selection Lexi Firkins (Brockport, N.Y.) will serve as a veteran presence after scooping up 65 grounds balls and recording 45 caused turnovers last spring. The Mustangs will prepare for their title defensive with non-conference matchups against Oswego State, Utica and Buffalo State.

Keuka College is ranked second in the coaches’ poll after receiving two first-place votes and 71 points. The Wolves are coming off a 13-2 record and return with 11 starters from the 2018 squad. Senior midfielder Kendall Neuberger (Penn Yan, N.Y.) will lead the offense after scoring 59 goals and 81 points last year to earn a NEAC All-Conference First Team nod. All-Conference honorees Brenna Voigt (Penn Yan, N.Y.) and Vanessa Tsarevich (Rochester, N.Y.) also return to help the Wolves’ offense after scoring 66 and 65 points, respectively, last season. Ally Thayer (Rome, N.Y.) returns in goal for her senior season after landing on the NEAC All-Conference Team in 2018 with a 10-1 record and 80 saves.

After advancing to the NEAC Championship game last spring, Medaille College received the final first-place vote and totaled 69 points to finish third in the poll. The Mavericks will look to return to the postseason with eight returning starters after going 8-1 in conference play last spring. Offensively, Medaille expects a solid year from sophomore midfielder Claire Purdy (West Seneca, N.Y.) after she tallied 47 goals, 16 assists and 55 ground balls in 2018. NEAC Defensive Player of the Year Thelma Outlaw (Middletown, N.Y.) also returns for her sophomore season after recording 76 ground balls, 75 draw controls and 62 caused turnovers as a rookie.

Wells College enters the 2019 season at No. 4 with 53 points. Head coach Meg Milliman returns for her second season with an experienced lineup that includes three all-conference players in Mackenzie Maloney (Huntington, N.Y.), Savanah Connors (Moriches, N.Y.) and Anna Bozeat (Jordan-Elbridge, N.Y.).

Penn State Abington completes the top five with 41 points. The Nittany Lions will have a young team with a new culture as returners Melissa Felicetti (Willow Grove, Pa.) and Jillian Stokes (Philadelphia, Pa.) are expected to help set the tone as big contributors in 2019.

Ten teams will battle for the NEAC Championship to earn a trip to the 2019 NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Tournament later this spring. The conference welcomes D’Youville College into the mix to bring its total to three associate members in women’s lacrosse with Hilbert and Medaille.

The full 2019 women’s lacrosse preseason rankings can be found below:

Rank Institution (First-Place Votes) Total Points
1. Morrisville State (7) 79
2. Keuka College (2) 71
3. Medaille College (1) 69
4. Wells College 53
5. Penn State Abington 41
6. SUNY Poly 35
7. Cazenovia College 34
8. Lancaster Bible 30
9. D'Youville College 28
10. Hilbert College  10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The preseason poll rankings were conducted by the NEAC women’s lacrosse coaches, with each coach ranking all teams but their own using a staggered points system (nine points for a first-place vote, eight points for second, etc.). The 2019 NEAC women’s lacrosse season is scheduled to begin Feb. 20 with a full season schedule available on the NEAC website

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.