The Northeast Conference coaches have selected the Central Connecticut lacrosse team to finish seventh in league play during the upcoming 2009 season. Led by seniors Alice Lee and Stephanie John, head coach Rachel Tringali and the Blue Devils will look to improve upon last year's eighth place finish.
Last season's NEC runner-up Quinnipiac was picked to win the regular season crown in 2009 and received four of the nine first place votes. Defending NEC Champion Sacred Heart picked up two first place votes and finished the poll in third behind Monmouth with its three first place nods. Mount St. Mary's, Robert Morris and Long Island take up the four, five and six spots just ahead of the Blue Devils. CCSU was selected to finish ahead of Wagner and St. Francis (PA) who came in eighth and ninth in the voting, respectively.
Lee, the Blue Devils' goalkeeper the past two seasons, led the nation in two statistical categories last spring. She recorded an NCAA best 5.14 ground balls per game and also stop 170 shots to finish the season with the best saves per game average in the country with 12.14. The Northampton, MA native increased her saves per game average to 13.50 on her way to being named an All-NEC performer for the second straight year. She received All-NEC First Team honors in 2007 and was awarded Second Team honors this past season.
In her junior season, John led the Blue Devils in scoring with 35 points. She recorded 22 goals and a team high 13 assists. The Norwich, CT native tallied two or more goals on six occasions in 2009 and recorded three goals and three assists in CCSU's lone win of the season, a 17-3 match over St. Francis (PA).
Only losing one senior from last year's squad, Central Connecticut returns many other top performers. Sophomore Michele Conway and junior Lyndsey Mastandrea were the Blue Devils' top two goal scorers a year ago. Conway finished the season with 26 goals and three assists, while Mastandrea tallied 24 goals with three assists. Mastandrea picked up her game during the conference season, recording a 2.5 goals per game mark in NEC games, ranking her fifth in the league. Sophomore Cara Momnie set a school record for draw controls during her first season in New Britain. She recorded 49 to lead the NEC and rank her sixth out of all NCAA Division 1 players.
CCSU will start the season on the road, traveling to Villanova,
Presbyterian and Davidson for their first three outings starting
February 22. The Blue Devils will return home for three games on
March 8, hosting Siena, Quinnipiac and Detroit Mercy. They will
finish the rest of the season with five away games against Wagner,
Long Island, Bryant, Robert Morris and St. Francis (PA) and five
home games versus UC Davis, Mount St. Mary's, Monmouth, Manhattan
and Sacred Heart.