CAMBRIDGE, Mass.  – Led by 12th-year head coach Sandy Bridgeman, the University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team was selected second in the 2008 America East Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Preseason Poll that was released Tuesday.

UNH received one of seven first-place votes – a head coach could not vote for his/her own team – and a total of 29 points to place behind defending tournament champion Boston University, which tallied four first-place votes and 35 points overall. Stony Brook University received the other first-place vote and was third with 27 points.

The University at Albany and University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) tied for fourth at 19 points. The University of Vermont (11 points) and Binghamton University (6) rounded out the poll.

Senior captains Ashley Crook (So. Burlington, Vt.) and Bailley Mazur (Longmeadow, Mass.) lead a group of 16 returning letterwinners – including nine starters – who will be joined by seven newcomers for the 2008 season. Included among the nine starters are the top three point producers: Sarah von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.), Shaunna Kaplan (Framingham, Mass.) and Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.). Mazur and von Bargen garnered All-Conference First Team accolades in ’07.

New Hampshire advanced to the America East Championships tournament for a record 10th consecutive year last season. UNH opens the 2008 season Feb. 24 (1 p.m.) at Hofstra University. The Wildcats’ home opener is scheduled for Feb. 27 (3 p.m.) against College of the Holy Cross.

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