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William & Mary back on top
August 14th, 2012 1:51AM

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[CAA PREVIEW] William & Mary won nine of the first 11 CAA women's titles, but the Tribe waited eight years before winning another league championship when it beat VCU, 1-0, in the 2011 tournament final. It should repeat in 2012 as it was the unanimous pick of opposing coaches to capture the 2012 title.

champions in 2012 according to a vote of the league's head coaches.
The Tribe received all 10 possible first-place votes and 100 total points since coaches weren't allowed to vote for their own team. James Madison was picked second with 81 points, followed closely by Hofstra with 79 points and Northeastern, which received one first-place tally, with 76 points. Delaware finished fifth with 64 points, followed by George Mason, Drexel, Old Dominion, UNCW, Georgia State and Towson.

William & Mary welcomes back CAA Player of the Year Mallory Schaffer and eight other starters from last year's 17-3-2 squad that captured its first CAA championship since 2003.

Besides Schaffer (17 goals, 6 assists), also back are forward Emory Camper (7 goals, 7 assists), midfielders Cortlyn Bristol (7 goals, 9 assists), Dani Rutter (7 goals, 11 assists) and defender Emily Fredrikson.

James Madison, second behind William & Mary with three CAA titles, has 10 of its 11 starters returning from last season's 8-8-3 team, including junior Lauren Wilson (8 goals, 6 assists).

Eight starters are back for Hofstra, the only team with more than one CAA title in the last eight years. Northeastern should be stronger with the return of sophomore forward Devin Griffin, who was the 2010 CAA Player and Rookie of the Year with 14 goals and seven assists but missed nearly all of last season due to injury.

VCU, the runner-up in both the 2011 regular season and conference tournament, has moved to the Atlantic-10.

CAA IN BRIEF:
2011 REGULAR SEASON. 1. William & Mary (10-1-0), 2. VCU (6-2-3), 3. Delaware (5-3-3), 3. George Mason (5-3-3), 3. Hofstra (6-5-0).
2011 TOURNAMENT. William & Mary beat VCU, 1-0.
2011 NCAA TOURNAMENT. William & Mary lost in first round.

2012 FAVORITE. William & Mary.
2012 CONTENDERS. James Madison, Hofstra, Northeastern.
2012 CREAM OF THE CROP. M Mallory Schaffer, William & Mary, sr.; M Cortlyn Bristol, William & Mary, sr.; F Ali Miller, Delaware, sr.
2012 TOP NEWCOMERS. G Caroline Casey, William & Mary; F Barbara Platenberg, William & Mary; G Laura Glew, George Mason; D/M Lea Hinnen, Hofstra.
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