Four-time defending champion Bridgewater State was selected as the preseason favorite in the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance following a vote conducted by the league's coaches. The Bears received six first place votes for a total of 75 points. Bridgewater State, one of only two institutions to have won a NEWLA championship since 1998, returns just two starters and will look to replace graduated NEWLA Defender of the Year Bethany Bush and NEWLA Goalkeeper of the Year Katie Weber.
Fitchburg State placed second in the poll with two first place votes and 70 points. The Falcons return six starters and will be led offensively by senior attacker Amanda Burns who led all players last season with 30 goals during conference play.
Westfield State received one first place votes and 68 points placing third. The Owls are bringing back eight starters including two-time first team all-conference selection Carly Keeley.
The NEWLA welcomes new members Salem State and Massachusetts Maritime in what will be the last season of NEWLA competition. Following the 2012 season, the nine members will begin play within their primary conferences. Seven will play as part of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) and two will compete within the NECC.
2012 NEWLA Coaches Poll
1. Bridgewater State - 75 (6)
2. Fitchburg State- 70 (2)
3. Westfield State - 68 (1)
4. Framingham State - 54
5. Worcester State - 38
6. Becker - 35
T7. Elms - 26
T7. Salem State- 26
9. Mass. Maritime - 13
Note: Points in are awarded in descending order with first-place votes (in parentheses) earning 9 points through ninth-place votes which are worth one point.