MANSFIELD, Mass. – Defending New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) champions New England College have been tabbed to defend their title in the 2020 NECC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll. The Pilgrims collected 24 points and four first place votes. New England College is headed by Meg Leo, who is entering her sixth season. She will return seven starters from 2019, including two first team All-NECC performers, defender Giuliana Kevlin (Laconia, N.H.) and midfielder Lauren Rich (Plaistow, N.H.). Kevlin helped lead an NEC defense that averaged 10.92 goals allowed, as she forced 19 turnovers and grabbed 42 ground balls. Rich chipped in 15 goals and 18 assists last season.
Becker College takes the second spot, totaling 21 points and two first-place votes. Becker is coming off a season in which they went undefeated in regular season conference play, capturing the NECC regular season crown. The Hawks will be under new leadership, as first-year head coach Stephanie Blakely takes the reigns. The 2019 NECC Rookie of the Year, Clare Conway (Billerica, Mass.), will return to the field for Becker. The attack compiled 91 points, 52 goals, and 39 assists in her rookie campaign, also earning first team All-NECC honors for her efforts.
Elms College tallied 16 points to land in the third slot. Elms will also be under the direction of a first year head coach, as Christa Morrison steps in for the Blazers. Elms will return six starters from a season ago, including the 2018 NECC Player of the Year, and 2019 NECC first team all-conference performer, Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.). The midfielder was second in the league in goals and points, with 73 and 116, a season ago.
Mitchell College secured the fourth spot with 13 points. Head Coach Devyne Doran joins the first-year coaching ranks, and will look to junior Hannah Corrigan (Fairfax, Vt.) to be a leader for the Mariners. Corrigan was a second team All-NECC performer in 2019, posting 16 goals and four assists for Mitchell.
Bay Path University, led by head coach Sophia White, and Dean College, led by Jessica Paulin, round out the poll with 10 and six points, respectively. Both teams are returning a number of starters from 2019, and look forward to promising seasons.
2020 NECC Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll
- New England College- 24 (4)
- Becker – 21 (2)
- Elms- 16
- Mitchell- 13
- Bay Path- 10
- Dean- 6
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 15 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sports. Current members include Bay Path University, Becker College, Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College.