Sacred Heart Picked to Repeat as NEC Champions

Jan. 27, 2010

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (January 27, 2010) - The two-time defending Northeast Conference Champion Sacred Heart women's lacrosse team was voted by the league coaches as the preseason favorite in the 2010 Preseaon Poll released on Wednesday. The Pioneers received five first place votes in the poll, placing them in front of Monmouth in second who received three first place votes and Quinnipiac in third who received the other two votes.

The Pioneers won their second-straight NEC title last season after posting a 12-7 overall record and a 7-1 mark in league play. Head coach Laura Cook, opening her 11th season on the Pioneer bench, welcomes back nine starters from last year's club led by All-NEC first team goalkeeper Chelsea Wagner (Aurora, CO). Wagner ranked second in the league last season in both goals-against-average (8.81 gaa) and save percentage (.541) while earning 12 victories.

Offensively, SHU is led by the return of All-NEC second teamers in senior attakcer Carissa Hauser (East Northport, NY) and sophomore Kate Kmiotek (Farmingdale, NY). Hauser ranked second in the conference in points (72) and third in assists (31) a year ago and also tied for the league lead with three game-winning goals. SHe led the team with 58 draw wins and had 23 ground ball pick-ups last season. Kmiotek finished fourth on the team with 18 goals as a rookie, while leading the team with 42 ground balls from her midfield spot. She also added 25 caused turnovers and had 25 draw controls.

Also returning to the offensive unit is senior midfielder Cori Horelik (South Windsor, CT) and sophomore attacker Alicia Fuchs (Bay Shore, NY) who finished among the Pioneers top-six scorers last season. Horelik finished the year with 18 goals and four assists but made her biggest splash in the NEC Tournament. Horelik netted five goals in the title game against Quinnipiac, earning a spot on the All-Tournament team. Fuchs was fourth on the team in scoring as a freshman, finishing with 21 goals and 10 assists on attack.

Senior Jackie Pierce (Cortlandt Manor, NY) anchors the back line after earning All-NEC secodn team honors last spring. Pierce ranked third on the team in draws (33) and fourth in ground balls (34). Also back defensively is starters senior Nicole Gerosa (Branford, CT), junior Elizabeth Drehwing (Wyckoff, NJ) and sophomore Mary LaGrassa (Massapequa, NY) along with senior Farra Coppola (Wantagh, NY) who missed much of last season with injury

The Pioneers kick-off the 2010 season on February 19th with a trip to the Universoty of Louisville. The NEC schedule gets underway on March 19th at home against Central Connecticut State.