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W. LACROSSE

Lady Falcon Lacrosse Picks Up First Place Vote; Picked #2 in Preseason Coaches Poll

HIGH POINT, N.C. - Conference Carolinas women’s lacrosse head coaches recently voted on the 2012 season preseason polls.  Limestone took the number one position for the sixth consecutive year with Pfeiffer, who secured a first place vote in the process, and Queens following behind closely to round out the top three spots.

After coming within one win of national championship last season, Limestone College women's lacrosse has high expectations. In 2011, Limestone won its first 17 games and entered the NCAA DII Tournament with the No. 2 overall seed. The Saints defeated northern rival No. 6 West Chester by a 10-9 score in the national semifinals before falling to eventual three-time champion Adelphi in the national championship game. It was the first such appearance in program history after a long history of success.

The Saints finished the season with an 18-2 overall record, tying the program mark for most wins in a season set the year before, and return three of their four IWLCA Second-Team All-Americans. Among those are senior attack Racquel Prager who scored a near season record 60 goals and finished with 67 points and junior goalkeeper Rashelle McLellan who posted a 7.28 goals against average. Junior midfielder Chelsea Treat, the 2011 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, rounds out that group. As a unit, Limestone returns 26 of the 30 players that were a part of last season's national runner-up squad.

For the third-straight season, Pfeiffer University has been selected second in the annual coaches’ poll. The Lady Falcons finished the 2011 campaign with a 12-6 overall record, going 6-1 in Conference Carolinas play, before falling to Limestone in the league's title game.

Once again in 2012, Pfeiffer will have to look for other goal-scorers as Sarah Hebberd and Alex Cook, the top two scorers from a year ago along with Shannon Bonnel, have departed. Bonnel returns for her third season after putting home 37 goals with 12 assists while Natalie Marvin enters her final season after a 34-goal and team-high 27-assist season last year. Liz Melesh and Rachel Hebberd are both back after 20+ goal-scoring seasons in 2011 while Katherine Athens also added 18.

Fourth-year Head Coach Dawn Easley will also look towards 12 freshmen to help out along the way.

Queens returns 13 letter winners this season from their 2011 squad. Of the group, attacker Shannon Casey and defender Akasha Kasper are two standouts that were recognized on last season’s All-Conference and All-Region teams. Kasper’s performance as a freshman also awarded her a spot on the IWLCA All-American team and the Synapse Sports All-Rookie Team.Casey will be an offensive threat again this season after leading her team in points with 72 last year on 21 goals and 51 assists. Brittany Philip will also be looked to score on the offensive end after scoring 42 goals last season.

Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches Poll (First Place Votes)
1. Limestone - (6) 36
2. Pfeiffer - (1) 29
3. Queens - 27
4. Belmont Abbey - 22
5. Lees-McRae - 14
6. Converse - 12
7. Erskine - 7

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