MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The New England Hockey Conference has announced their 2018-19 preseason coaches' poll Wednesday afternoon. The Beacons were picked to finish second this winter behind the reigning conference tournament champions Norwich University.
UMass Boston, who will be under the direction of interim head coach Dom Izzo, earned a combined 69 points. Norwich was unanimously picked to repeat, after winning the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship. The Cadets earned nine first place votes and 81 total points.
Plymouth State University and Castleton University rounded out the top-4 on the preseason poll with 57 and 54 points respectively.
The Beacons will welcome back a veteran core of players for the 18-19 campaign. The offense will look to fifth-year senior Jane Morrisette (Pembroke, Mass.), who led the Beacons last season with 14 goals and 18 points in 28 games played. Kaleigh Beauregard (Gaylord, Mich.) is also back as one of the Beacons top playmakers and will look to build-off of her team-high 10 assists from a season ago.
Defensively, UMB will be anchored by junior Bri Colucci (Lancaster, N.Y.) and senior Arielle Gallucci (Warren, N.J.). Last season Colucci finished tied first in assists with 10, while Gallucci registered nine points and a team-leading 41 blocked shots.
Between the pipes Alyssa DePippo (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who last season became the first Beacons netminder to finish the regular season unbeaten, is the lone returning netminder. As a junior, the Pennsylvania native made a career-high 179 saves and led the team with a 1.78 goals against average and was 7-0-2 overall.
The Beacons will open their new season on Friday when they host Stevenson University at 7 p.m.