Feb. 1, 2011
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Two-time defending Atlantic 10 Conference champion Massachusetts is the slight favorite to claim the 2011 A-10 Women's Lacrosse title in voting conducted by the league's head coaches.
The Minutewomen, who have finished no lower than second place in the A-10 regular season standings the last two seasons, were listed first on four ballots to lead all schools with 62 points. UMass edged 2010 regular season champion Richmond, which received three first-place votes good for 61 points. La Salle was the coaches' pick to finish third as the Explorers tallied 46 points. Temple garnered the other first-place vote and registered 36 points to place fourth in the preseason poll.
Duquesne (31) was selected fifth followed by Saint Joseph's (23), George Washington (20) and St. Bonaventure (17).
Massachusetts returns 17 letterwinners including 10 starters from last year's squad who captured the A-10 Championship crown after defeating Richmond 12-10 in the conference finals. Among the returning starters for the Minutewomen is senior attacker Jackie Lyons, the reigning A-10 Offensive Player of the Year, who led the team a season ago in points (69), goals (49), assists (20) and game-winning goals with four. UMass will be under the direction of first year head coach Angela McMahon.
Richmond, who has claimed at least a share of the A-10 regular season title in four of the last five seasons, returns 16 letterwinners including nine starters from last year's team that finished 10-9 overall and 6-1 in the league. The Spiders return Mary Flowers, who earned A-10 Midfielder of the Year honors last year. Flowers led Richmond in virtually every category in 2010 including goals (55), points (65), ground balls (68), draw controls (59) and caused turnovers (39).
La Salle was the coaches' pick to finish third returning 12 letterwinners including eight starters from last year's team that went 9-7 overall and 5-2 in the A-10, good for a tie for second place in the regular season standings. The Explorers welcome back a pair of league honorees from last year in Defender of the Year Megan Corliss and Rookie of the Year Lauren McDermott.
The 2011 A-10 Women's Lacrosse Championship will be held April 29 & May 1 at Geasey Field on the campus of Temple University.
2011 A-10 WOMEN'S LACROSSE PRESEASON POLL
Preseason Poll (# first place votes), Total Points
1 - Massachusetts (4), 62 points
2 - Richmond (3), 61 points
3 - La Salle, 46 points
4 - Temple (1), 36 points
5 - Duquesne, 31 points
6 - Saint Joseph's, 23 points
7 - George Washington, 20 points
8 - St. Bonaventure, 17 points