Beavers Selected to Finish Third in Preseason Poll

Beavers Selected to Finish Third in Preseason Poll

UMaine-Farmington was selected to finish third in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) this season after gaining 23 points. 

SUNY Canton received all six first-place votes to emerge as the clear favorite in the 2020 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Lacrosse preseason coaches' poll.

In a tightly packed middle, Husson landed in second place with 26 points, while UMaine-Farmington was third with 23 points. Maine Maritime finished fourth with 19 points, and Thomas was fifth with 16 points. Northern Vermont-Lyndon completed the poll with six points and sixth place.

The top-four teams in the 2020 preseason coaches' poll were the final teams standing in 2019. Top-seeded SUNY Canton prevailed over #4 Husson, 20-4, and #2 UMaine-Farmington bested #3 Maine Maritime Academy, 12-4, in the semifinals.

SUNY Canton won the 2019 NAC Women's Lacrosse Championship, 19-4, over UMaine-Farmington, in what was their first year competing in the conference, and went on to make the first NCAA tournament appearance for any Roo sport. The history-making team fell to Brockport in the first round of the national championship tournament.

View the complete 2020 NAC Women's Lacrosse schedule HERE.

2020 Women's Lacrosse Preview

1. SUNY Canton - 36 points (6 first-place votes)

Adam Todd enters his fifth year at the helm for the Roos after the team set a program record with 14 wins during the 2019 season (14-6 overall) and became the first team in SUNY Canton Athletics history to secure an NCAA Tournament berth after a win over Maine Farmington in the NAC Championship game. Todd coached the NAC Player of the Year, Molly Denny (Adams, N.Y.), and NAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Mia Jermano (Massena, N.Y.), as well as five First Team All-Conference and two Second Team All-Conference recipients. The team went a perfect 5-0 in NAC games where they outscored opponents 92-11. The Roos return three of their top five scorers in Denny (57 goals, 33 assists), Logan Bush (Watertown, N.Y. / 25 goals, 14 assists), and Stephanie Thayer (West Henrietta, N.Y. / 22 goals, nine assists). Denny and Bush both earned NAC First Team All-Conference honors last season, along with Allison Wakefield (Mastic, N.Y.). The Roos also return Second Team selection Nicole Piskorowski (Brockport, N.Y.), as well as Madison Leary (Carthage, N.Y.) in goal. Newcomers expected to contribute right away include Sam Dayter (Cohoes, N.Y.) and Casey Pelton (Adams, N.Y.). Dayter, a midfielder transfer from SUNY Poly, was the 2019 NEAC Rookie of the Year as she finished the season with 66 goals, 23 assists and 123 draw controls.


2. Husson - 26 points

Head coach Dorian Gilmartin-Dzitko returns for her third season at the helm for Husson (7-7, 3-2 NAC) in 2020. The Eagles return their leading scorer in sophomore Mary Cushing (Fairfield, Vt.), the 2019 NAC Rookie of the Year and First-Team All NAC selection. Maddy Olsen (Bath, Maine), a Second Team All-NAC selection in 2019, will anchor the midfield, and Mallory Burchill (Kennebunk, Maine), a First-Team All-NAC honoree will once again lead the defense in the crease. The Green and Gold welcome five newcomers to the sideline as they look to make a return appearance in the 2020 NAC tournament.


3. UMaine-Farmington - 23 points

The 2019 Coach of the Year, Beth Lebel leads the sideline in her fourth season with the Beavers (8-9, 3-2 NAC). A 2019 First Team All-Conference selection, Isabella Monbouquette (Bath, Maine) scored her 100th point last season as a sophomore and led the team in goals with 45, while Second Team selection Kaya Backman (South Portland, Maine) was second on the team in goals with 34. The team placed six players on All-Conference teams in 2019, and goalkeeper Heather Boland claimed Senior Scholar Athlete honors. The Beavers add depth with multiple midfielders and defensemen and look to return to the NAC Championship in 2020.


4. Maine Maritime - 19 points

Maine Maritime Academy Athletic Director Steve Peed will lead the Mariners in his first season as head coach. The Mariners (5-7, 3-2 NAC) return senior midfielder Chloe Smedley (York, Maine) who ranked second on the team in caused turnovers last season, as well as 2019 Sportsmanship Team selection, Catherine Mahoney (Plymouth, Mass.) for her senior season on defense. Maine Maritime looks to return to the NAC postseason for the fourth-consecutive season relying on a core of experienced veteran players and a talented first-year class. The Mariners open their season on Wednesday, March 4 at Saint Joseph's College of Maine.


5. Thomas - 16 points

Head coach Peri West returns for her fourth year on the sideline for Thomas. She returns a strong group from a season ago, highlighted by juniors Nikki Bradstreet (Topsham, Maine) and Meredith Wheeler (Westbrook, Maine), both All-Conference selections in 2019, as well as sophomores Arianna Cannistraro (Waltham, Mass.) and Mackenzie Driscoll (North Andover, Mass.). The Terriers welcome a deep recruiting class including the additions of Autumn Howe (Merrimack, N.H.), Elizabeth Gotay (Schenectady, N.Y.) and Lauren Bartlett (Wells, Maine). This talented incoming class along with returning players will help the Terriers towards their season goals.


6. Northern Vermont-Lyndon - 6 points

NVU-Lyndon Athletic Director Chris Gilmore will serve as the Hornets' interim head coach this season. The Hornets hope to improve upon their 2019 campaign, which saw them go winless in 12 games, including five NAC contests. The Hornets return eight players from a year ago, headed by senior Bayla Stewart (Newport, Vt.) and junior Zoe Pierce-Olhson (Gales Ferry, Conn.) at attack. Junior Tori McCormack (East Lyme, Conn.) will anchor the defense. The young team will look to build on the program's first three seasons while keeping an eye toward the future.