Last year, I had prepared my predictions for Big East women's soccer preseason awards, but hadn't written it up because I was basing it on the year before. Then the awards came out earlier than the year before, and I had to post a picture of my handwritten list.
NOT THIS TIME.
I've got a system that I use to attempt to predict the preseason players of the year and the preseason all-conference team. With the re-invention of the Big East heading in to this season, the system is going to be put to the test, since three of the teams are coming in from different conferences in 2012, and it's hard to compare those conferences to the Big East of last year. I suspect that I might miss badly on some of the all-conference team picks, but such is life in 2013.
Another thing throwing a wrench into the process was a LOT of really good returning defenders. Traditionally, it's hard for defenders to get onto the all-conference teams, so I ended up eliminating a number of them in favor of midfielders and forwards. This is an attempt at predicting the all-conference team that will be produced by the coaches voting, so that's the way it goes.
Offensive Player Of The Year: Daphne Corboz, Jr., F, Georgetown - She won the postseason version of this award last year and she's back this season. No-brainer.
Defensive Player Of The Year: Emily Jacobson, Sr., D, Marquette - Ok, walk with me for a minute. Things that are facts: 1) Taylor Houck from Georgetown is the only returning defender on the 2012 postseason all-conference first team. 2) A Marquette defender has won the last three Big East postseason defender of the year awards. 3) I'm going with a Hoya at keeper, and I don't think Georgetown can sweep all three awards when they're not the preseason favorite to win the league. Thus my pick here is Marquette's best returning defender.
Goalkeeper Of The Year: Emma Newins, So., Georgetown - This was my pick for the 2012 postseason award. I'm still annoyed that Syracuse's Brittany Anghel won that one after not being in the top eight in goals-against average or save percentage, so I'm sticking with my decision here.
All Big East Team
Kaitlin Brenn, Sr., F, Georgetown
Lauren Cigoranelli, Sr., M, Creighton
Ashley Clarke, Sr., M, Seton Hall
Daphne Corboz, Jr., F, Georgetown
Taylor Houck, Sr., D, Villanova
Emily Jacobson, Sr., D, Marquette
Maegan Kelly, Sr., F, Marquette
Sophia Maccagnone, So., M, Butler
Taylor Madigan, Sr., M, Marquette
Emma Newins, So., GK, Georgetown
Catherine Zimmerman, So., F, Providence
I might be reaching on Cigoranelli, as she was a standout on a terrible Bluejays team in 2012. Maccagnone should be a shoo-in after all the accolades she racked up in the A-10 last year. The two I'm most unsure of are Clarke and Zimmerman, as they were the last two that I added after adjusting to remove high quality defenders.
Top 5 Teams
Yeah, I'm sticking with the teams from last year's Big East championship match as the top two teams in the league, and Marquette gets my nod to win the regular season title as they won four straight division titles in the old Big East.