Women’s lax top pick

Senior goalie Mimi Khampaeng leads the Owls into the 2016 season. (Photo courtesy of Westfield State University Sports)

Senior goalie Mimi Khampaeng leads the Owls into the 2016 season. (Photo courtesy of Westfield State University Sports)

WESTFIELD — The Westfield State Owls have been selected to win the 2016 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship as voted on by the coaches from around the league.
The reigning MASCAC Regular Season Champions, who were a perfect 7-0 in league play, had five first place votes for 47 points in this year’s poll. Returning for the Owls are All-Conference honorees Mimi Khampaeng and Blair Smith. Khampaeng was second in the league in saves (160) while also tallying the third-best save percentage (48.6) and goals against average (10.24). Smith netted 44 goals and seven assists for 51 points with 43 draw controls and 28 ground balls during the 2015 season.
Bridgewater State is next in second with two first place votes for 43 points. The 2015 MASCAC Tournament Champions finished with a 5-2 record during MASCAC play last year. The Bears bring back Lauren Geary who led the MASCAC in goals (78), shots (138) and was second in points (91) and teammate Melissa Renauld who was fifth in the conference in goals (59) and third in total points (82).
Sitting in third is Worcester State with 35 points. The Lancers were 5-2 during the 2015 MASCAC campaign. Kaila Chase returns to the squad after netting 59 goals and 15 assists along with 42 ground balls on her way to earning All-Conference honors last season.
Earning the final first place vote is Fitchburg State in fourth with 33 points. All-Conference goalie Elizabeth Darrigo returns for the Falcons after leading them to a 5-2 record last season. In goal, she led the conference in save percentage (50), second in goals against average (9.79) and fourth in saves (150).
Framingham State takes home 23 points for the fifth spot in this year’s poll. The Rams finished with three wins in conference play last season. Back for the team is Morghan Cassella who had 22 goals and seven assists while also 21 ground balls and 21 draw controls last season.
Landing in the sixth spot is Salem State with 20 points. The Vikings ended the league regular season with two victories. Last season, Courtney Smith was second on the team in goals with 31 while also tallying nine assists, 45 ground balls and 21 draw controls.
Rounding out the 2016 poll in seventh and eighth are Massachusetts Maritime and MCLA with 16 and seven points, respectively. The Buccaneers return goalie Mikayla Correia who was second in the MASCAC in save percentage (48.9) and fifth in saves (131) and goals against average (11.48). Back for the Trailblazers after their inaugural season is Natalie Caney who had 26 goals and 16 assists for 42 points while also grabbing 54 ground balls and 42 draw controls.
The MASCAC women’s lacrosse squads begin the 2016 season next week with non-conference contests around the region.

2016 MASCAC Women’s Lacrosse Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)
1. Westfield State (5) 47 points
2. Bridgewater State (2) 43 points
3. Worcester State 35 points
4. Fitchburg State (1) 33 points
5. Framingham State 23 points
6. Salem State 20 points
7. Mass. Maritime 16 points
8. MCLA 7 points
– Release courtesy of the MASCAC

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