January 25, 2011

Big East Favorite? Depends Who You Ask

from staff reports

Four teams tallied first-place votes in the Big East women's lacrosse coaches poll, released Tuesday. Georgetown, with four first-place votes (59 points) edged Syracuse with three first-place votes (57 points) to be tabbed preseason favorite for the second consecutive year.

Notre Dame (50 points) and Loyola (47 points) each earned a first-place vote as well. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.

Loyola senior Grace Gavin was tabbed as the Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and was one of eight unanimous Preseason All-Big East honorees. For the second straight year, Syracuse senior Liz Hogan earned Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors, as well as Preseason All-Big East accolades.

Gavin totaled 87 points, including 64 goals and 23 assists last season. She also scored five game-winning goals and was the 2010 Big East Attack Player of the Year. In conference play, she tallied a league-leading 46 points and was tied for the most goals with 34. Gavin also helped lead the Greyhounds to their first appearance in the Big East Championship as well as a top-20 ranking in the national polls.

Hogan played in 22 games last year and posted a league-leading 8.63 goals-against average. She also led the Big East in save percentage, posting a .525 mark along with 211 saves. In conference play her numbers were even better as she lowered her goals-against average to 7.01 and upper her save percentage to .616. Both figures were tops in the Big East. In 22 games, Hogan helped lead the Syracuse defense in holding 13 opponents to 10 goals or less. She also was named the 2010 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

Georgetown returns six starters and 21 letterwinners to a squad that won the 2010 Big East regular-season crown as well as the No. 1 seed in the Big East Championship. The Hoyas went 13-6 last season, including 8-0 in Big East play. Senior Logan McCraw and junior Kelly Barnes anchor a defense which ranked among the league leaders. Both players also were All-Big East First Team performers last season, while Barnes was a unanimous preseason selection this year. Senior attacker Jordy Kirr, a unanimous Preseason All-Big East pick, will be a key cog on offense.

Syracuse, which has advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship in two of the last three years under the direction of head coach Gary Gait, was picked second. The Orange (15-7, 6-2 Big East) return seven starters and 23 letterwinners. Syracuse also has a league-leading four Preseason All-Big East selections, including Hogan. Leading the offense will be Preseason All-Big East selections Tee Ladouceur and Michelle Tumolo. Ladouceur, a senior attack, had 91 points last season and is the league's top returning scorer. Tumolo, a sophomore attack, is one of two underclassmen on the preseason team along with Georgetown's Kelly Barnes. Senior midfielder Catherine Rodriguez also was a Preseason All-Big East selection and tallied 28 draw controls, 22 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers last year.

Notre Dame was slotted for the third position and has advanced to the NCAA Championship in each of the last three seasons. The Irish (11-7, 6-2 Big East) tied for second in the regular-season standings last year and were the No. 2 seed in the Big East Championship. Notre Dame had three players selected to the preseason all-conference team, including seniors Kailene Abt, Shaylyn Blaney and Jackie Doherty. Doherty was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big East team and led the league in caused turnovers last season averaging 2.2 per contest. All three players earned all-conference honors last season.

Loyola (11-7, 5-3 Big East) was tabbed fourth in the preseason selections with 47 points and one first-place vote. Including Gavin, three Loyola players earned Preseason All-Big East honors, including senior midfielder Cara Filippelli and classmate Abby Rehfuss. Last season Filippelli was among the league leaders in draw controls averaging 2.67 per game along with 23 goals, 23 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers. Rehfuss also was a steady contributor with 23 goals, 41 ground balls, 48 draw controls and 24 caused turnovers.

Louisville was picked fifth and will look to seniors Emily Dashiell and Bergan Foley to lead the offense. A unanimous Preseason All-Big East selection, Dashiell had a league-leading 3.73 draw controls per game last year, along with 41 goals. Foley, also a unanimous Preseason All-Big East pick, led the league in goals at 4.59 per outing. She totaled 84 points, including a league-leading 78 goals. The Cardinals were 11-6 last season, 4-4 in Big East play.

Rutgers was picked sixth following an 11-5 mark last year, 4-4 in Big East action. Senior midfielder Marlena Welsh, a Preseason All-Big East pick, will help direct the offense after totaling 31 points, including 27 goals last year.

Connecticut, Cincinnati and Villanova round out the poll.

In all, 14 of the 16 Preseason All-Big East selections were seniors.

The 2011 season will be the second year in which the league will contain nine members. In addition, it is the second year that all three games of the Big East Championship will be televised live on national television. The CBS College Sports Network will broadcast both semifinals live on Thursday, May 5 while the title game is set for Saturday, May 7. The 2011 Big East Women's Lacrosse Championship will be held at Georgetown University.

2011 Big East Women's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Georgetown (4) 59
2. Syracuse (3) 57
3. Notre Dame (1) 50
4. Loyola (1) 47
5. Louisville 36
6. Rutgers 31
7. Connecticut 23
8. Cincinnati 14
9. Villanova 11

2011 Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
*Grace Gavin, Loyola, Senior, Attack/Midfield

2011 Big East Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
*Liz Hogan, Syracuse, Senior, Goalkeeper

2011 Preseason All-Big East Team
Kailene Abt, Notre Dame, Senior, Midfield
*Kelly Barnes, Georgetown, Junior, Defense
*Shaylyn Blaney, Notre Dame, Senior, Midfield
*Emily Dashiell, Louisville, Senior, Midfield
*Jackie Doherty, Notre Dame, Senior, Defense
Cara Filippelli, Loyola, Senior, Midfield
*Bergan Foley, Louisville, Senior, Attack
*Grace Gavin, Loyola, Senior, Attack/Midfield
*Liz Hogan, Syracuse, Senior, Goalkeeper
*Jordy Kirr, Georgetown, Senior, Attack
Tee Ladouceur, Syracuse, Senior, Attack
Logan McCraw, Georgetown, Senior, Defense
Abby Rehfuss, Loyola, Senior, Midfield
Catherine Rodriguez, Syracuse, Senior, Midfield
Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse, Sophomore, Attack
Marlena Welsh, Rutgers, Senior, Midfield

*unanimous selections


comments powered by Disqus