Lacrosse fans in the region surely had Feb. 17 marked on their calendars. That was when the women’s teams from UMass and Boston College were slated to face each other to open their seasons, two teams ranked in both the preseason IWLCA coaches poll and sitting atop New England Lacrosse Journal’s ranking of the region’s 19 teams, owning spots No. 1 and No. 2 to open the season.
Alas, the rematch of last year’s eye-opener — a 15-11 UMass win — will have to wait after UMass had to pause campus activities for two weeks starting on Feb. 7.
So what are we expecting from the Minutewomen this season in the Atlantic 10? Plenty.
In the final of our D-1 women’s previews, we take a look at the team’s outlook and players to watch, which is no small number. Every starter from last year’s team is back, including preseason All-American attack Caitlyn Petro (Manchester, N.H.) and U.S. Women’s National Team candidate Amy Moreau in the midfield.
UMass checks in at No. 2 in the Atlantic-10 preseason poll, behind only Richmond, a team that features sophomore sensation and U.S. Women’s National Team candidate Sophia DiCenso (Foxboro, Mass.).
Here’s a look at the Minutewomen:
2020 result: 4-1 (0-0 A-10)
Coach: Angela McMahon, 11th year
Key losses: none
Players to watch: Brinley Anderson (Killingworth, Conn.), sr., M; Gina Carroll (Ellington, Conn.) jr., G; Kaitlyn Cerasi, sr., A; Haley Connaughton (Westwood, Mass.), sr., A; Stephanie Croke (Norwell, Mass.), sr., M; Emma Dotsikas sr., A; Audrey Fantazzia, sr., D; Lauren Hiller (North Andover, Mass.), sr., G; Amy Moreau, jr., M; Ally Murphy, sr., M; Olivia Muscella, sr., M; Caitlyn Petro (Manchester, N.H.), sr., A; Audra Tosano (Walpole, Mass.), soph., M
Outlook: The Minutewomen appeared headed for a massive spring with a victory over Boston College and three straight triumphs before the season ended after five games. The good news is that just about everyone is back for another run at an A-10 crown and hopeful trip to NCAAs. … Cerasi (14-10-24) and Croke (14-2-16) are back for a graduate year with Connaughton (13-11-24), Dotsikas (12-4-16) and Muscella (9-3-12) all returning as double-digit scorers. Croke is a two-time Midfielder of the Year in the A-10. … Anderson, Moreau — a U.S. Women’s National Team candidate — and Murphy should anchor the midfield with Fantazzia a returning starter on defense and Hiller back in net. … UMass has not announced a schedule yet.
NEW ENGLAND PRESEASON TOP 10