With 8 days left to go before the start of the 2017, the Big East announced the women’s soccer preseason awards and all-conference teams on Thursday. In Marquette-related news, redshirt junior forward Carrie Madden was named to the 13 player preseason All-Big East team, and the Golden Eagles were picked to finish third in the standings this season.
Madden is one of six forwards on the 13 player all-league team, which has extra players on it due to a tie in the voting somewhere. As a redshirt sophomore last season, she led Marquette with 17 points on six goals and five assists, all after playing in just one match in her first two seasons in Milwaukee. Madden’s two biggest goals of the year most likely both came in the Big East semifinals, where she had both of MU’s markers as they defeated St. John’s 2-1 in overtime. You HAVE to go check out Madden’s golden goal, as it borders on absurd.
Here’s the rundown on the predicted order of finish, along with point totals, according to the voting of the league’s coaches:
1. Georgetown, 81
2. DePaul, 70
3. Marquette, 67
4. St. John’s, 54
5. Providence, 48
6. Butler, 43
7. Villanova, 31
8. Creighton, 28
9. Xavier, 16
10. Seton Hall, 12
Georgetown got all nine available first place votes, as the league’s coaches are not able to vote for their own team. Dave Nolan’s first place vote then went to DePaul, who ended up beating out Marquette by just three points for second place. There’s a 13 point drop off between the Golden Eagles and the Red Storm, so it’s pretty clear the coaches see a top tier of three and then everybody else. The top four went exactly as I expected, and it was pretty easy to come up with those four in that order.
Onwards to individual awards....
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Rachel Corboz, Georgetown
Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year: Arielle Schechtman, Georgetown
Both women were the obvious pick for these awards. Corboz led the Big East in points and assists last season, and Schechtman had the best stats of any of the returning keepers in the league.
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Elizabeth Wenger, Georgetown
And here’s where I part ways with the league’s coaches. Before I explain my point, we have to get into the people on the all-conference team....
Preseason All-Big East Team
Alexa Ben, DePaul, Sr., M*
Amanda Carolan, Georgetown, So., F
Franny Cerny, DePaul, Jr., F
Shea Connors, St. John’s, Sr., F
Rachel Corboz, Georgetown, Sr., M*
Samantha Dewey, Xavier, Jr., F
Lucy Edwards, DePaul, Sr., M
Shannon McDevitt, Butler, Sr., D
Carrie Madden, Marquette, R-Jr., F
Allie Moar, St. John’s, Sr., M
Paige Monaghan, Butler, Jr., F
Arielle Schechtman, Georgetown, Sr., GK
Elizabeth Wenger, Georgetown, Sr., D
Not listed: Anna Maria Baldursdottir from St. John’s. She was my pick for Preseason DPOY and she’s not even on the all-conference team. For whatever reason, there’s six forwards and two defenders. I’m not saying the league should be required to vote in a particular way, but that’s more than a little ridiculous.
Regardless of that, I don’t understand how the league’s coaches are voting. Baldursdottir was the only returning defensive player on the All-Big East First Team at the end of the 2016 season. In fact, she was the only sophomore at the time. Yet somehow, the coaches now favor noted Second Teamer Wenger over her? And McDevitt, also a Second Teamer, over Baldursdottir as well for this year’s preseason all-league team? That is bananas.
Outside of the Baldursdottir madness, the other 10 of my preseason all-league team picks made it into the official one voted by the coaches. Connors, Madden, and Monaghan are the extra honorees that I didn’t mark in my predictions. Given that level of matching between my picks and the coaches’ voting, I’m kind of surprised that only Ben and Corboz ended up as unanimous picks. Think about it: My 11 players were essentially what I thought were the obvious 11 picks..... and yet at least one coach disagreed with me on nine of them. Weird.
Marquette is set to open the 2017 season one week from Friday when they host preseason #2 Stanford at Valley Fields. First kick on August 18th is set for 7:30pm Central time.