Navy Women Favored to Repeat in Patriot League; Dykstra, Martin Top Players
from press release
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Fresh off their first Patriot League championship, the Navy Midshipmen were selected to win the program's second title in the 2011 preseason poll, released by the Patriot League Wednesday. The preseason poll is voted on by the League's coaches and women's lacrosse sports information directors.
Lehigh senior midfielder Lauren Dykstra was selected as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Holy Cross senior goalkeeper Amy Martin was voted the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Navy earned nine first-place votes and 69 points in the poll to take the top spot. The Mids, coming off a 17-4 campaign, return a deep roster with five all-league veterans. Junior Danielle Vivonetto is Navy's leading returning scorer, who scored 62 goals to finish third in the Patriot League. She will look to replace 2010 Offensive Player of the Year and Patriot League Tournament MVP Erin Rawlick, who led the League with 77 goals.
Senior midfielder Katrina Nietsch, who scored 31 goals returns for her senior year after earning All-Patriot League Second Team accolades in each of her first three seasons at Navy. Navy also returns senior attack Caitlin Mandrin Hill, who earned All-Patriot League First Team honors in 2009 and set career highs in goals (33) and points (68) in 2010.
Lehigh, which had four first-place votes, was selected to finish second with 63 points. The Mountain Hawks, who fell in the championship game last season to Navy, finished 14-4 last season and earned the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Lehigh returns all six of its All-Patriot League players from last season, including Dykstra. First-Team All-League members Kelly Draper, Leigh Ann Torcivia and Allison Thomas return, along with Second-Team All-League members Julie McBrien and Kenzie Dambach.
Colgate also had a first-place vote and finished third in the poll with 53 points. The Raiders finished third in the League last season with a 4-2 record (9-8 overall). They return two of the League's top 10 scorers in Colleen Bubnack (36 goals, 20 assists) and Courtney Miller (36 goals, 11 assists).
American (37) edged out Holy Cross (36) for fourth place and Lafayette (23) and Bucknell (13) rounded out the poll.
American finished in fifth place last season behind Holy Cross as both tied for a 3-3 League record. The Eagles welcome in a new coach for 2011, former player Laura Campbell, who led the Eagles to the Patriot League Championship as a senior in 2003. She will take over a squad that returns two Second-Team All-League performers in Amanda Makoid (32 goals, nine assists) and Emily Stankiewicz (20 goals, six assists).
Holy Cross will be led by seniors Annie Boylan, Meg O'Leary and Martin. The Crusaders have eight of 12 starters back from last season, including three who earned 2010 All-Patriot League honors. Holy Cross also returns 19 overall letterwinners and adds nine freshmen. O'Leary and Martin were both First-Team All-League selections last season. O'Leary was fifth in the League in caused turnovers per game with 1.24 and Martin led the League in save percentage (.412).
The Leopards, after a 3-14 campaign in 2010, will look to improve with a large cast of underclassmen. Included in that group is last year's Patriot League Rookie of the Year Addie Godfrey, who scored 38 goals to finish fourth in the League. She will be joined on offense by senior Lauren Brown, who scored 20 goals. The Leopards return seven starters, but they lose a key cog in goalkeeper Emily Bjork, who averaged 9.24 saves per game. The Leopards have 11 freshmen on the roster and several will get the chance to contribute in 2011.
The Bison will be very young in 2011 after going 2-15 overall and 0-6 in League last season. With 14 of 20 students-athletes being freshmen, the Bison will look to grow and gain experience. Bucknell does return senior Julia Braun, who was a Second Team All-Patriot League selection. She scored 37 goals and 10 assists to lead her team. She also led the team in draw controls with 48. Goalie Alyssa DeLorenz and defender Ashley St. John also return for 2011. Braun, DeLorenz and St. John are the only players on the team with more than one year of college experience.
The 2011 season opens Friday with Navy hosting Mount St. Mary's at 4 p.m. Colgate will open its season at home against Stony Brook at 1 p.m. Saturday and Bucknell will host St. Bonaventure at noon Sunday.
American, Holy Cross and Lehigh will all open their seasons next week, while Lafayette will begin Feb. 23 against Marist.
Two Patriot League women's regular-season games will be televised on CBS College Sports Network this season, and for the first time, the women's Patriot League Championship game will be televised.
Navy will host both regular-season television games, against Colgate at noon Saturday, April 9, and Lehigh at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23. The Patriot League Championship game will be a 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30.
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
LAUREN DYKSTRA, LEHIGH Sr., Midfielder, Mendham, N.J.
Lehigh's Lauren Dykstra was the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first student-athlete in League history to win Rookie, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year during her career. With the addition of the Midfielder of the Year award, she could make it four different major awards in four years.
Dykstra started all 18 of Lehigh's games in 2010 while leading the team and finishing third in the League with 54 goals. She entered the season as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, but in several games during the season she was charged with shadowing one of her opponents' best offensive threats.
She finished second on the Mountain Hawks in caused turnovers (16) and ground balls (47) while helping her team complete 87.4 percent of its clears. She led the Mountain Hawks to an 8-0 start, which matched the program record for best opening, en route to a 14-4 overall record, a 5-1 mark in the League and the top seed in the tournament.
For her career, Dykstra has scored 185 goals and 31 assists in 52 games. She is a three-time All-Patriot League selection and is looking to become the 11th women's lacrosse player and first from Lehigh to become a four-time All-League selection.
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
AMY MARTIN, HOLY CROSS Sr., Goalie, Bloomfield, Mich.
Amy Martin, the 2010 Goalkeeper of the Year, enters the 2011 season ranked fourth all-time at Holy Cross with 489 career saves, fourth with 16 career wins, sixth with a .461 career save percentage and seventh with a 12.18 goals against average. She also enters the season fourth in the nation by current players in career minutes played with 2,813:19 and is fourth in career saves.
Martin led the League in save percentage (.503) while finishing second with 10.75 saves per games and third with a goals-against average of 10.98. During League play, she led all goaltenders in the three major categories. She was the only netminder to finish with a goals-against average under 10 (9.69) and a save percentage above .500 (.537), while she was one of two goaltenders (along with Lafayette's Emily Bjork) to average double-digit saves per game (11.00). Martin and Colgate's Christina Roa were both named First-Team All-Patriot League. Martin is the second goalkeeper from Holy Cross to win the award, as Megan Orr won it three straight years from 2005-07.
2011 Patriot League Preseason Women's Lacrosse Poll
Team Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Navy 69 (9)
2. Lehigh 63 (4)
3. Colgate 53 (1)
4. American 37
5. Holy Cross 36
6. Lafayette 23
7. Bucknell 13