ROYAL OAK, Mich. - In the first-ever Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) women’s lacrosse preseason poll, the Trine University squad was picked to finish sixth. This year marks the first season the MIAA is sponsoring women's and men's lacrosse as conference sports. The women’s league will feature seven schools in the first season, with Saint Mary’s and Kalamazoo adding teams in 2014.
Adrian was chosen as the preseason favorite to win the first MIAA women's lacrosse championship, receiving six of a possible seven first-place votes in the preseason poll of MIAA coaches. Hope, which was picked to finish second, received the other first-place vote. Coaches could not vote for their own teams. Trine, Adrian and Albion all previously faced off as members of the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference (MWLC).
The Thunder look to hit the reset button under new head coach Jeannine Ravellette after a promising 2012 season was marred by injuries leading to a 2-7 finish in their final season as a member of the MWLC. After the loss of three All-Conference players in Ashley Kocsis, Emily Shreeve and Shelly Raupp to graduation, the 2013 team will have to have multiple players step up their game a notch to be competitive in the newly formed MIAA women’s lacrosse conference.
On offense, look for midfielders senior Emily Canepa and junior Lauren Hood to lead an improved attack that managed just seven goals per game last year. Sophomore Kassi Armstrong will also chip in to round out the attack unit.
Defensively, it all starts with sophomore goalie Grace Garrett. Garrett withstood a barrage of shots all season long, posting 70 saves while starting all nine games as a freshman. Defensemen senior Maria Duncan along with juniors Kenzie Boyer and Danielle Reuter will help to check the opponent’s best scorers and keep Garrett clean between the pipes.
Trine will have several new faces on the field including four freshmen that look to make an impact for the Thunder and coach Ravellette.
Poll Results (first-place votes in parenthesis): 1. Adrian (6) 6 pts. 2. Hope (1) 13. 3. Calvin 17. 4. Alma 19. 5. Olivet 27. 6. Trine 29. 7. Albion 36.