March 11, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-After earning the fourth seed and advancing to the semi-finals of the Little East Conference Tournament last season, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's lacrosse team hopes to continue their improvement this season. The Corsairs will open their 2009 season when they play Sweet Briar Monday afternoon in West Palm Beach, FL.
The Corsairs were placed in a fifth place tie in this year's Little East Conference pre-season poll. "This year's poll will see some teams move up, others stay where they are, and others move down," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Jerry Jennings. "There's a real balance in the league this year. I think it's a very competitive league, and there could be some surprises."
UMass Dartmouth hopes to be improved. "Our team has been working very hard, and the team is very enjoyable to coach," said Jennings. "They are very attentive and always give 100 per cent. We have moved some people around, and we had an excellent recruiting class."
Senior captains Colleen Allen (Gloucester, MA/Gloucester HS), Andrea Russo (Tyngsboro, MA/Tyngsboro HS), Liz Stapleton (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield HS) and Allison Trearchis (Tyngsboro, MA/Tyngsboro HS) will lead the way. "As always, we are led by the maturity and dedication of our four captains," said Jennings. "All of them have played here for their college careers, and this year, they are working extra hard to attain more success. The younger players look to them for their leadership and inspiration, and they have really set the tone for the success we'll have this year."
Another key returning player is back. "We also return last year's LEC Rookie of the Year, (sophomore) Allison O'Rourke (Weymouth, MA/Weymouth HS), who really blossomed last year as a collegiate player," said Jennings. "Her 40 goals were unique for a freshman in this league, and her skill level has improved this year."
The goalkeeping could be in good shape. "One of last year's issues was the goalie position, and we had to develop someone midway through the season," said Jennings. "Our two goalies, (junior) Liz Miller (Littleton, MA/Westford Academy/Littleton HS), who was voted team Most Valuable Player last year, and freshman Angelina Donovan (Medford, MA/Medford HS) are in a keen competition for the starting position. It's a real plus to have two talented and supportive people in that position helping and pushing each other."
The rest of the team should be improved. "Our offense will be better this year," said Jennings. "The return of (juniors) Gillian Carey (Waltham, MA/Waltham HS/UMass), Sam Wonson (Lowell, MA/Lowell HS) and (senior) Liz Stapleton (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield HS) gives us a real punch on offense. On defense, Andrea Russo and Colleen Allen will anchor a group that includes three freshman starters and our Most Improved Player from last year, (sophomore) Brittany Partridge (Littleton, MA/Littleton HS). (Freshman) Brittney Enos (East Falmouth, MA/East Falmouth HS) was a Boston Globe all-star last year, and she will definitely play role. (Sophomore) Larissa Basque (Plainville, MA/King Philip HS) will go both ways for us. She exemplifies the maturity, leadership and competitive nature that we hope to turn into success."
After Monday's opener, the Corsairs will return and play Mount Ida and Worcester State on the road. Their 2010 home opener will be Saturday, April 3rd against Plymouth State. UMASS DARTMOUTH LACROSSE
2010 Little East Conference Pre-Season Poll
Rank Institution First Place Total Points 1 Keene State 3 45 2 Eastern Connecticut 3 39 3 Plymouth State 1 31 4 Southern Maine 25 5 U Mass Dartmouth 21 Western Connecticut 21 7 Rhode Island College 14