Marquette women's lacrosse enters their fourth season of Division 1 competition this spring, and their third as a member of the Big East. Unlike last year, when the league opened its doors to two new members, there's no adjustments to the makeup of the conference this season. That means we can just jump right in to making some predictions about who is going to win the preseason awards!
Offensive Player of the Year: Jackie Froccaro, Villanova
I'm not really sure how Froccaro beat out Shannon Gilroy for this postseason award a year ago, given that Gilroy had a much better points per game average, but oh well. She did win, so since she's back for a grad student year with the Wildcats and she's the best returning scorer in the league, she gets the nod.
Defensive Player of the Year: Lauren Kwasnowski, Connecticut
Again, if you won the postseason award last year and you're back in 2016, you get the prediction nod here, especially on defense.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Shannon Nee, Connecticut
Again again, if you won the postseason award last year and you're back in 2016, you get the prediction nod here. I like it when a plan comes together. Shoutout to the Big East's coaches for voting for players that were coming back this season!
All Big East Team
Kristen Bandos, M, Georgetown
Courtney Curtis, M, Cincinnati
Emma Dagres, M, Vanderbilt
Jill Doherty, A, Vanderbilt
Katherine Finkelston, A, Connecticut
Caroline Fitzgerald, D, Florida
Jackie Froccaro, A, Villanova
Elizabeth Goslee, D, Marquette
Nicole Graziano, M, Florida
Alexa Kunowsky, M, Vanderbilt
Lauren Kwasnowski, D, Connecticut
Shannon Nee, GK, Connecticut
Devon Schneider, A, Florida
Mallory Schonk, A, Vanderbilt
Mollie Stevens, A, Florida
Nicole Tiernan, M, Temple
This was a relatively simple list to assemble. Step 1: Figure out the configuration of last year's preseason team: 6 attackers, 6 midfielders, 3 defenders, 1 goalie. Step 2: plug in the returners from last year's postseason all-conference team. The First Team got me five attackers, two defenders, and one mid and one goalie each. After grabbing all the mids from the Second Team to fill everything out, it was just a matter of some tiebreakers. Jill Doherty was the last attacker added because she had the most points last year without already being on the list. Elizabeth Goslee made it in as the third defender partially on seniority and partially on complete bias because this is a Marquette-centric site.
Top Four Teams
The Gators are the defending champs, and while they lost Shannon Gilroy's offense, they've got enough firepower coming back. I stuck Vandy in at #2 after realizing how many returning players they had on the all-league team. Same goes for Connecticut, except at #3. I don't really have a good feel for who should be fourth, so I'll go with Jackie Froccaro's Wildcats in that spot.