On Tuesday, the Big East announced the results of the preseason voting of the conference's women's lacrosse coaches. The most important thing to discuss is the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year balloting, as Marquette's Elizabeth Goslee was part of a three way tie for the award with Georgetown's Adrianne Devine and Florida's Caroline Fitzgerald.
In our predictions post, Devine was the pick for DPOY, as she was returning to the conference with the best caused turnovers per game average from last season. With that said, all three players were on our all-conference team list, so you really can't argue with any of them. Since they all got the same number of votes, I guess the line between the trio wasn't exactly that clear.
In other news, Marquette was picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll. The Golden Eagles finished with 12 points, four in front of eighth place Cincinnati and nine behind sixth place Villanova. As the Bearcats finished with eight points, that makes it pretty likely that someone out there actually has the Golden Eagles behind Cincinnati, but then again, it's nearly impossible to tell for sure on that account.
Florida was the unanimous pick to win the league this season, picking up all seven votes that they could. Florida head coach Amanda O'Leary cast her vote for Connecticut, who finished in third place in the voting with 36 points. Georgetown is the team keeping space between the Gators and the Huskies, as they finished the balloting with 42 points. Vanderbilt (32 points) and Temple (24) round out the rest of the league.
In addition to Fitzgerald, Florida is led by Shannon Gilroy, the Big East's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. It was an easy choice, as Gilroy led the league in goals in 2014 with 86. Now she's back for more after being named an IWLCA First Team All-American and a Tewaarton Award finalist last season.
Let's move on to the all-conference squad...
Preseason All-BIG EAST
Nora Barry, Florida, M*
Sammi, Burgess, Florida, A*
Kelly Chandler, Vanderbilt, M
Adrianne Devine, Georgetown, D*
Corinne Etchison, Georgetown, A
Katherine Finkelston, Connecticut, M*
Caroline Fitzgerald, Florida, D*
Shannon Gilroy, Florida, M*
Elizabeth Goslee, Marquette, D*
Chelsey Henderson, Villanova, M
Lauren Kwasnowski, Connecticut, M
Jessica Mucci, Villanova, A
Shannon Nee, Connecticut, GK*
Mallory Schonk, Vanderbilt, A*
Caroline Tarzian, Georgetown, A*
Nicole Tiernan, Temple, A
The asterisks mark the players that were unanimous choices to the preseason all-league team, and WOW that is a lot of them. All four major award winners were tabbed by all seven coaches that could vote for them, of course, as were six other players. That's 10 of the 16 players honored by the league, which means that figuring out the postseason version of this squad might not be terribly complicated.
I named a 15 person all-conference team, so by default, I was going to come up short on getting everyone the Big East named. But, all told, I did snag 12 of the players, missing on three picks - Marquette's Hayley Baas, Florida's Taylor Bresnahan, and Connecticut's Ali Crofts. Bresnahan seemed like an easy choice for the team, even with four other Gators already there because, y'know, Florida's REALLY GOOD. Baas and Crofts were also easy choices for me to put on the team, as I was essentially just adapting the postseason all-Big East First and Second Teams from last year around the players from Florida and Vanderbilt that seemed like obvious picks. The league's coaches felt that Vanderbilt's Kelly Chandler, Georgetown's Corinne Etchinson, Connecticut's Lauren Kwasnowski, and Villanova's Jessica Mucci were more deserving, and well, this is their job to know who's really good.