SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Roger Williams, which had a perfect Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) women's lacrosse season last year, was selected to repeat as champions in 2017 as the Hawks earned the top spot in the 2017 CCC women's lacrosse preseason coaches' poll.
The Hawks received 78 points in the voting completed by the league's nine women's lacrosse head coaches, including six first place votes.
Roger Williams was finally able to earn its first CCC Championship after finishing as the tournament runner-up the previous two seasons. The Hawks went a perfect 8-0 in conference play (15-4 Overall) to earn the top seed in the CCC Championship Tournament. Following a first round bye, the Hawks edged No. 4 seed Western New England 12-11 in overtime in the semifinals to return to the Conference Championship. In the Championship game, Roger Williams exploded for 11 goals in the second half to run away with the title 16-7 against No. 2 seed Endicott.
In the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship First Round, the Hawks dropped a 13-7 result to William Smith.
Last year's championship runner-up, Endicott, received two first place votes in the poll and 69 total points to claim the second spot in this year's rankings. Western New England received the final first place vote and 61 points to land in the third spot. The University of New England and Gordon finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with 60 and 44 points.
Salve Regina (32 points), Curry (31), Nichols (20), and Wentworth (10) closed out the table in that order.
Although Salve Regina graduated seven seniors from the previous season, the returning players, along with the talented freshmen players, are excited to make their mark in this improving program. The team will return their top two goal scorers, Kaitlin Gillespie (Haddam, Conn.) (28 goals) and Courtney Moulton (Merrimack, N.H.) (23 goals). Other key returners include Katie Kline (Brookfield, Conn.), Lindsey Smith (North Attleboro, Mass.), and Megan Geier (Glastonbury, Conn.).
Western New England and Gordon get the women's lacrosse season started on Saturday, Feb. 25 with non-conference matchups. Conference play gets underway a month later on Saturday, March 25. The top six teams in the conference standings will qualify for the CCC Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament, which begins with the quarterfinal round on Saturday, April 29 and concludes with the Championship game on Saturday, May 6. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the league's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship.
Click HERE to view the whole 2017 CCC women's lacrosse schedule.