The Central Connecticut women's lacrosse team has been picked to finish seventh in the annual preseason poll of the Northeast Conference's coaches. The Blue Devils, who finished last season in eighth place, begin 2012 under new head coach Kelly Nangle.
The Blue Devils finished last season second in the NEC for goals scored with 12.54 per game. The 2012 Central squad will also feature two players who finished among the top-three in points per game last season. Now juniors, Betsy Vendel (3.75) and Meaghan McCurry (3.44) finished first and third, respectively, in points per game last season. Classmate Mackenzy Ryan (2.31) was fourth in the NEC in goals per game and led the conference with four game winning goals.
"These kids have put in the work during the fall and preseason, as a team we are excited to be closing in on the start of the season," Nangle said. "I believe we will continue to head in a positive direction throughout the spring."
Nangle, a first year head coach, played her collegiate lacrosse at Mount St. Mary's before beginning her coaching career at her alma mater. Her most recent coaching position prior to Central was as the defensive coordinator at Rutgers. Under her guidance, the Scarlet Knights became one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
The Blue Devils were picked seventh in the poll just behind Bryant. Quinnipiac, the 2011 NEC Lacrosse Champion, was picked as the favorite heading into 2012. The Bobcats received six of the 10 first place votes from the league's coaches. Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary's, Monmouth and Sacred Heart rounded out the top-five. Mount received a pair of first place votes, with Monmouth and Sacred Heart grabbing the final two first place votes.
St. Francis (PA) was picked to finish eighth and Wagner and LIU Brooklyn took the final two spots in the poll.
NEC Preseason Poll Release
The Blue Devils will open the 2011 season on February 19, at Stony Brook. NEC play will open the following week when the Blue Devils host Bryant at Arute Field. The 2012 season will feature a full slate of NEC games and trip to California to play Fresno State, U.C. Davis and St. Mary's.
For the 2012 season all home lacrosse games can be seen live on CCSUBlueDevils.tv, with the exception of the game against Bryant.