February 14, 2006

Women's Lacrosse Picked Third In Preseason Poll

Feb. 14, 2006

Center Valley, Pa. - The Holy Cross women's lacrosse team was picked to finish third in the 2006 Patriot League preseason poll as voted on by head coaches and sports information directors from around the league. The Crusaders earned 54 total points, just one point behind American (55 total points). Defending champion Colgate was picked to repeat as it earned 12 of 14 first place votes and 72 total votes. Lehigh (47 total points), Bucknell (28 total points), Villanova (20 total points), and Lafayette (18 total points) rounded out the fourth through seventh slots.

Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Stephanie Pavlick, the Crusaders are returning a strong and experienced line-up at every position and will be looking to make a return trip to the Patriot League championship game.

Holy Cross will be led by senior midfielder and team co-captain Carolyn Smirti, who started all 19 games last season and was second on the team in both goals (30 goals) and total points (36 points.), while finishing second on the team in assists with six. Junior goalie Megan Orr will join Smirti as co-captain and is returning to the Crusader cage as the reigning conference Goalkeeper of the Year and Second Team All-Region selection. Orr's 8.85 goals against average placed her second in the Patriot League last year, while her .561 save percentage was the top mark.

Offensively, the team will be led by two-time All-Patriot League pick, Patricia Sutton. Last season, Sutton led the Patriot League in goals (51) and points (64), and was second in points per game (3.76) and free-position goals (0.82). She amassed 64 points from the midfield and had 32 more points than the next closest player on the Holy Cross roster. The junior midfielder finished the regular season ranked 20th nationally with a 3.00 goals per game average.

In addition, the Crusaders also boast the reigning league Rookie of the Year in sophomore Amy Archambault. A three-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week selection last season, Archambault finished the year ranked third on the team in scoring with 24 goals and two assists for 26 total points.

In 2005, the Crusaders (10-9 overall) finished second in the Patriot League with a 4-2 mark in conference play and earned the number two seed in the conference tournament. They advanced to the program's second-ever championship game after an 11-10 win over American in the quarterfinals of the tournament, but lost to Colgate, 11-4 in the title game. Holy Cross was one of just two teams to post a winning record in the seven-team Patriot League last season.

Holy Cross will start the year with a 1:00 p.m. match-up against the University of Massachusetts on Saturday, February 25.