Framingham, Mass. – The Framingham State University women's lacrosse team has been selected to finish fourth in the 2012 New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA) preseason poll as voted on by the league's coaches and announced by the conference office this morning.
The Rams, who finished the 2011 campaign fifth in the NEWLA at 3-4 in the conference and 4-10 overall, secured the fourth spot with 54 points and will be led by returning all-conference midfielder Kerry Kiley (Mansfield, Mass.). The Mansfield, Mass. native was the Rams leading scorer a season ago with 34 goals and six assists for 40 points. Also, returning for the Rams are the junior scoring tandem of Heather Masse (Billerica, Mass.) and Chelsea Temple (Rutland, VT).
Four-time defending champion Bridgewater State University was selected as the preseason favorite as the Bears received six first place votes for a total of 75 points. Bridgewater State, one of only two institutions to have won a NEWLA championship since 1998, returns just two starters.
Fitchburg State University placed second in the poll with two first place votes and 70 points, while Westfield State University took the third spot just ahead of the Rams with 68 points and a single first place vote.
Rounding out the poll are Worcester State University in 5th (38 points), Becker College in 6th (35 points), Elms College and Salem State University tied for 7th (26 points) and Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 9th with 13 points.
The NEWLA welcomes new members Salem State and Massachusetts Maritime in what will be the last season of NEWLA competition. Following the 2012 season, the nine members will begin play within their primary conferences. Seven will play as part of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) and two will compete within the NECC.
Points in the preseason poll are awarded in descending order with first place votes earning nine points through 9th place votes earning a single point.