Today the Big East announced the results of the preseason women's lacrosse coaches' poll. Here's the good news for Marquette fans: MU finished tied with Cincinnati for seventh place, thus avoiding ending up alone in eighth place. Both the Bearcats and the Golden Eagles finished with 10 points, 12 points behind sixth place Villanova.
Thus ends the good news for Marquette, as there are no MU players on the preseason All-Big East team. In my predictions post, I put Golden Eagles attacker Claire Costanza on the all-conference team, as she finished the 2013 season with the third best assists average amongst players on teams returning to the Big East this season. I thought that was pretty damn great for a freshman on a first year program, but apparently the Big East coaches disagreed with me.
Georgetown is the pick to win the Big East. That's not surprising, as they start the season ranked #9 in the country. The Hoyas picked up all seven first place votes and 49 points for a unanimous selection as Ricky Fried wasn't allowed to vote for his own team. Fried's first place spot went to Connecticut, who finished second with 40 points. Louisville (39 points) and Rutgers (30 points) round out the top half of the Big East, and that's exactly how I predicted (read as: threw darts) things to shake out. Temple finished fifth with 24 points with Villanova close behind at 22 points, and Cincinnati and Marquette round things out.
BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Lauren Kahn, Sr., Midfielder, Connecticut
BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Monica Negron, Sr., Midfielder, Louisville
Ohhhhhhh, did I make a boo boo. I had Lauren Kahn picked as the DPOY. What's your logic, BigEast.com?
Kahn, the 2013 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and second-team IWLCA All-American, registered a team-high 65 points off 42 goals and 23 assists last season. The senior out of Nanuet, N.Y., finished the year ranked 25th nationally in ground balls per game (2.56) and also among the leaders in draw controls (3.39).
Oooookay? Those seem like awfully defensive minded reasons. My choice was returning leading scorer Nikki Boltja from Louisville, which seems like a better choice. At least Boltja still was a unanimous choice for the all-conference team, so I'll take partial credit. As for Negron, she forced 1.44 turnovers per game last year and ranked 21st in the country with her Big East leading 4.06 draw controls per contest.
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Lauren Kahn, Sr., M, Connecticut^
Shannon Nee, So., GK, Connecticut^
Kacey Pippitt, Sr., A, Connecticut
Barbara Black, Sr., GK, Georgetown
Adrianne Devine, Jr., D, Georgetown
Hannah Franklin, Sr., M, Georgetown
Kelyn Freedman, Sr., M, Georgetown^
Casey McGowan, Jr., D, Georgetown
Caroline Tarzian, Jr., A, Georgetown^
Nikki Boltja, Sr., A, Louisville^
Kay Morissette, So., M, Louisville
Monica Negron, Sr., M, Louisville^
Megan Clements, Sr., A, Rutgers
Hollie DiMuro, R-Jr., Rutgers
Chelsea Intrabartola, Sr., D, Rutgers
Lauren Sbrilli, R-Jr., M, Rutgers
Six players were unanimous selections, as noted by the carrots after their names. That's the same number as Georgetown players, so you can tell that things are kind of tilted in one direction in the league right now.
I picked 10 of the 16 players correctly, and given the departures of the three best teams (Syracuse, Notre Dame, Loyola) in the league last year, I'm going to count that as a victory. My predictions had things spread out a bit more, as I had five players from Cincinnati, Marquette, Temple, and Villanova on the team. I suppose it's not a coincidence that those are also the teams picked to be the back half of the conference this year, and none of them are represented on the all-conference team at all.
Marquette opens the season on Saturday, February 15, when they travel to Baltimore to face Johns Hopkins.