STANDISH, Maine – In several respects it seems difficult to fathom, but the 2017 Saint Joseph's College women's lacrosse season is right around the corner.
Led by fifth-year Head Coach Rupert Lewis, the Monks kick off the new season against University of New England at Deering Memorial Stadium in Portland on Wednesday, March 1st at 7:00 PM. Saint Joseph's faces four in-state rivals over the next three weeks, starting with a road trip to Husson University (3/4) and continuing with home games versus Thomas College (3/8) and University of Southern Maine (3/15) before capping the stretch with a game at nationally-ranked Bates College (#12 in January 30th IWLCA Poll) on March 22nd.
The Monks, 16-3 overall and 9-0 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play last spring, kick off GNAC action March 25th with a game at Norwich University and host a pair of conference contests in early April, when University of Saint Joseph and Rivier University come to town on April 1st and April 8th, respectively.
St. Joe's hosts reigning GNAC Champion Lasell College on Wednesday, April 18th and trips to GNAC favorites Johnson & Wales University (4/22) and Emmanuel College (4/27) follow.
Saint Joseph's concludes the 2017 regular season with a home game versus Albertus Magnus College on Saturday, April 29th. The finale starts at 1:00 PM and will be played at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. All other home games will take place at Deering Memorial Stadium.
The GNAC Tournament begins with a quarterfinal round on May 3rd, continues with the semifinals on May 5th, and concludes with the championship on May 7th. The GNAC Champion earns an automatic berth into the NCAA DIII Tournament, which starts on May 13th.
The Monks enter the 2017 campaign riding an 18-game win streak versus GNAC opponents but lost six key starters to graduation last spring, including leading scorer Kat Gadbois (50-38-88), top playmaker Mary Leasure (15-49-64), ace defenders Meghan Williams (47 GB, 33 CT) and Emma Lafrance (36 GB, 17 CT), and starting goalkeeper Michelle Cunha (5.01 GAA, .536 SV%).
To help replace the lost offense, the team will look for sizeable contributions from junior Elyse Caiazzo (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus), who led the Royal Blue in goals (67) and ranked second in points (82) last spring, senior Jackie Wilson (Tiverton, R.I.) (25-15-40), and sophomores Kara and Kayla Kelly (York, Maine), who combined to net 18 goals and 23 total points as freshmen.
Freshman Kaylin Mansir (West Gardiner, Maine) assumes the starting goalkeeper position after starring at Gardiner Regional High School while the defense is expected to be bolstered by junior Brianne Maloney (South Portland, Maine), sophomores Brittany Arsenault (Westbrook, Maine) and Megan Baker (Gorham, Maine), and freshmen Mackenzie Beaudoin (Fayette, Maine) and Kelsey Duncan (Old Saybrook, Conn.).
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Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.