Women's Lacrosse Tabbed Second With Boston U. In Conference Preseason Poll

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The back-to-back defending America East Conference Tournament Champions' University at Albany women's lacrosse squad has been picked to finish tied-for second in the conference's preseason poll on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

The Great Danes (12-6, 3-3 America East) finished the 2012 season by taking down the No. 1 seeded Boston University (W, 15-9) and No. 2 seeded Stony Brook (W, 9-7) in the conference tournament to defend their title in back-to-back seasons. Following the conference tournament, UAlbany went to its second NCAA Tournament in as many seasons. The Great Danes fell to the No. 1 seeded University of Florida, 6-4, in Gainesville, Fla.

UAlbany's head coach John Battaglino brings back six starters from last season's team. The six starters look to keep the Great Danes from losing any momentum from last season, as they make up 63.5 percent (127 of 200) of the goals and 85.0 percent (68 of 80) of the assist production from last season. Of the six starters, junior midfielder Ariana Parker was named as a member of the 2013 Inside Lacrosse Preseason Third Team.
Parker was a 2012 America East All-Conference first team member and was accompanied by fellow returners' seniors Rachael Burek and Jess Antelmi, who were named to the all-conference second team.

Coach Battaglino looks to become just the third head coach in America East history to win back-to-back-to-back tournament championships. University of Delaware's Denise Wescott (1997-99) and Boston University's Liz Robertshaw are the previous two head coaches to have accomplished the feat.

Stony Brook, the 2012 America East Tournament runner-ups and regular season champions, was picked to finish first with 33 votes and three first place votes. The Great Danes and the Terriers of Boston University, who are not eligible for postseason play, received 29 votes apiece. UAlbany received two first-place votes and BU grabbed one first-place vote.

The UMBC retrievers were picked to finish fourth with 19 votes and the final first-place vote. Vermont (17), New Hampshire (13) and Binghamton (7), in that order, rounded out the group of seven squads.

UAlbany will open the 2013 season with the No. 3 ranked, according to the deBeer Women's Media Poll, University of Florida Gators on Sunday, Feb. 24 in Gainesville, Fla. at 12 p.m. In the first ever meeting, the Great Danes played the Gators down to the wire in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but eventually fell 6-4.