Rams Ranked Fourth in Skyline Conference Preseason Poll
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – After winning three
straight Skyline Conference women’s lacrosse titles,
Montclair State University has been selected as the conference
favorite in 2009 as voted upon by the Skyline coaches. The Red
Hawks expect to receive a strong challenge from Kean and Mount
Montclair State lost five seniors who earned First Team All-Skyline honors while helping the team to two straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The good news for the young Red Hawks is that four all-conference players return, led by senior midfielder Marykate DiBenedetto (38 goals, 21 assists, 59 points). Juniors Jamie Hudacko (27-5-32) and Morgan MacPhee (24-9-33) give Montclair State a strong midfield unit. Sophomore Kristin Quigley, an All-Skyline second-team selection as a rookie, will lead a young defense.
After a season in which Kean went 14-6 and advanced to the Skyline championship game as well as the ECAC tournament, the Cougars will be a strong challenger for the title this spring. Senior attack Stephanie Cirino (78-21-99) led the conference in both goals and points last season. The All-Skyline first-team selection will lead an offense that also includes sophomore attack Amanda South (59-26-85). Junior defender Chelsea Davis was also a first-team All-Skyline selection last season.
Mount Saint Vincent also has a strong nucleus of returning players led by junior attack Kelly Martin (48-18-66). The Dolphins, who lost two close games to Kean, including 14-13 in the conference tournament, have four All-Skyline players returning in addition to Martin.
The Skyline Conference has expanded to eight teams this season with the addition of first-year programs Polytechnic and Sage. The conference expects to become more competitive as the young programs develop.
SKYLINE CONFERENCE WOMEN’S LACROSSE
2009 PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
1. Montclair State (6) 48
2. Kean (2) 44
3. Mount Saint Vincent 35
4. Farmingdale State 33
5. Ramapo 23
6. Polytechnic 17
7. Maritime 13
8. Sage 11
(first-place votes in parentheses)