University of Delaware Women's Lacrosse Picked Fifth, Tabbed as Underdog in Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Coaches Poll
February 12, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. -- The University of Delaware lacrosse team was picked fifth along with William & Mary in the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Coaches Poll announced by the conference this week.
Two-time defending CAA champion James Madison landed the top spot with six first-place votes and 48 points overall. Towson claimed the second spot, picking up the remaining two-place votes and 43 total points. Drexel was chosen third with 31 points followed by Hofstra with 26 points in fourth.
The Blue Hens and William & Mary each totaled 29 points for fifth place, while Old Dominion was selected seventh with 18 points. Rounding out the preseason poll was George Mason with 10 points.
Delaware, which will be led by second-year head coach Kateri Linville, returns five letterwinners and welcomes seven newcomers for the 2012 season. The Blue Hens went 8-9 overall last year and finished fourth with a 3-4 conference mark alongside William & Mary.
Among the Hens' top returning players are senior captain Gracie Wills, junior Angela Biciocchi, and a trio of talented sophomores in Chelsea Fay, Bridget Burns, and Alex Alois.
Continuing her mantra that to be the best you have to play the best, Linville has comprised a challenging 2012 slate that has been ranked as the 24th toughest schedule among women’s lacrosse NCAA Division I teams.
“Delaware has been tabbed as this season’s underdog,” said Linville, whose first team went in 8-9 in 2010 and missed a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament by just one game. "As a program, we know that it is not where you start the season, but where you end your season that matters most. Our schedule has two roads to a championship season, one road through our conference championship and one road through non-conference victories over ranked opponents.”
For the second straight year, Delaware will open the season with an exhibition game against an international team, this year, hosting the Wales National Team. The game will be hosted in Delaware Stadium on Feb. 13 at 9:30 a.m. Delaware will kickoff the season on the road, heading to College Park, Md. on Feb. 16 to face Maryland, which reached the NCAA finals in 2011 and was crowned national champion in 2010.
The Hens play their home opener at Delaware Stadium, the team’s second season in the 22,000-seat venue, on Feb. 22 against nearby foe Villanova at 4 p.m. Delaware then opens CAA play on the road, making the short trek to Towson on Apr. 1. The Hens will make a two-game swing in Virginia, first squaring off with Old Dominion on Apr. 6 followed by a matchup with William & Mary on Apr. 8.