February 7, 2012

James Madison Tabbed CAA Favorite by Coaches

from press release

RICHMOND, Va. – Two-time defending CAA champion James Madison has been predicted to win the CAA women's lacrosse title in 2012 according to a vote by the league's eight head coaches.

JMU received six first-place votes and 48 points overall as coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team. 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. Delaware and William & Mary each totaled 29 points for fifth, while Old Dominion was selected seventh with 18 points. Rounding out the preseason poll was George Mason with 10 points.

The Dukes, who open the year as the nation's ninth-ranked team in the International Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association poll, are coming off a 15-4 season that included an NCAA Tournament appearance. JMU head coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe's Dukes' squad will be led by junior attacker Casey Ancarrow, who was tabbed a third team IWLCA All-America pick and first team All-CAA selection after tallying a team-high 43 goals last season. The U.S. National Team member also ranked third on the team with 16 assists a season ago. Joining Ancarrow on the front line will be senior Monica Zabel. Zabel tallied 21 goals and a team-high 27 assists en route to earning second team All-CAA honors. Senior midfielder Annie Brophy (29 gb) and senior defender Cally Chakrian (42 dc, 25 gb) will add to the Dukes' powerful squad.

After winning back-to-back conference titles in 2008 and 2009, Towson will look to reclaim the crown behind a group of veteran returners. Senior attacker Sarah Appelt (18 g/22 a) is the top returning point scorer for the Tiger offense. Midfielders Jackie LaMonica (19 g/14 a) and Ashley Waldron (24 g) will also look to contribute to Towson's offensive charge. A pair of first team All-CAA selections anchor the defense as junior defender Alexa Demski and senior goalkeeper Mary Teeters are back for the Tigers. Demski was second on the squad with 39 ground balls last season, while Teeters was second in the league with a .476 save percentage.

Drexel opens 2012 play with eight returning starters from last season's 9-8 squad that made its first appearance in the CAA Championship in program history. The Dragons will look to senior attacker Charlotte Wood to spark the team's offense. The second team All-CAA selection netted 46 goals last season, second best in the CAA. Joining Wood on attack will be junior Alyse Maiden, who was ranked second on the squad with 33 goals and added 15 assists in 2011. Junior midfielder Kelli Joran will add all-around good play, coming off a year in which she had 25 goals, 21 ground balls and a team-best 27 draw controls.

Hofstra looks to reclaim the CAA title for the first time since 2007 and features junior midfielder Jill Maier, who was a first team All-CAA selection. Maier led the Pride with 37 goals and 43 draw controls. Also returning for Hofstra is junior attacker Claire Brady, who dished out a team-best 17 assists last year to go along with 15 goals. Sophomore midfielder Jenn Ward contributed 15 goals for the Pride. Senior goalkeeper Jackie Pandolf returns in the cage after leading the league in save percentage (.491) and saves per game (9.94) a season ago.

The CAA Women's Lacrosse Championship is scheduled to get underway April 27 with semifinal action and the title contest is slated for April 29.

2012 CAA Women's Preseason Coaches Poll

1. James Madison (6 first-place votes) 48
2. Towson (2 first-place votes) 43
3. Drexel 31
4. Hofstra 26
5T. Delaware 24
5T. William & Mary 24
7. Old Dominion 18
8. George Mason 10

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