As you read this on Sunday morning, we are just under two weeks away from the start of the women’s lacrosse season. As such, it’s time that we make some preseason award picks for the Big East in 2020, if for no other reason than the league office is going to come rushing in with the official results of the preseason coaches poll very very soon.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Quintin Hoch-Bullen, Attack, Denver
She was the Attack Player of the Year at the end of last season and ultimately finished the season third in the Big East in goals per game and points per game. She trailed behind two seniors in points, and only Old Dominion’s Glory Johnson returns after averaging more goals per game than Hoch-Bullen. You can make an argument for Johnson based on 0.17 goals per game if you want to, but I don’t think it’s really worth your trouble considering the difference in records between the two teams a year ago.
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Katie Hudson, Defender, Georgetown
While there are three defenders back from last year’s All-Big East First Team, Hudson is the only one of the three that was a unanimous choice a year ago. This seems like a pretty easy pick here, but sometimes picking defensive awards can get a little weird so we’ll see what the coaches actually do.
Preseason All Big East Team
Sydney Frank, D, Villanova
Carson Gregg, GK, Denver
Quintin Hoch-Bullen, A, Denver
Katie Hudson, D, Georgetown
Glory Johnson, A, Old Dominion
Molly Little, M, Denver
Natalia Lynch, M, Georgetown
Jocelyn Miller, D, Marquette
Noelle Peragine, D, Georgetown
Eliza Radochonski, A, Denver
Grainger Rosati, M, Villanova
Liz Trojan, A, Villanova
Okay, so I’m going to come straight out and admit that kind of sort of cheated to get this list the way I wanted it. According to the end of the year awards last year, Denver’s Molly Little made the All-Big East First Team as a defender. However, she’s on DU’s roster as a midfielder. Thus, I moved her over there in order to get three returning middies from last year’s all-Big East teams. That meant I had to throw a dart to pick one of the three returning Second Team defenders to join First Teamers Katie Hudson, Jocelyn Miller, and Sydney Frank, and it ended up being Noelle Peragine. Throwing a dart makes it seem random, but I went with a Hoya because 1) I expect Georgetown to be better than Marquette this year and 2) Peragine had more ground balls and caused turnovers than Mollie Miller a year ago.
The attackers were pretty easy picks, as Hoch-Bullen gets in automatically, and Radochonski and Trojan were both First Teamers at the end of last season. I just needed one more attacker to keep things even, and given that you could argue Glory Johnson for preseason OPOY, she’s the easy pick to bump up from the Second Team at the end of 2019.
Carson Gregg was the Goalkeeper of the Year last season, so again, super easy pick to make there.
Predicted Order of Finish
1 - Denver
2 - Georgetown
3 - Villanova
4 - Marquette
5 - Old Dominon
6 - Butler
Sorry/not sorry to Butler, but y’all are 0-14 in Big East matches through two years.
Denver has four players on my all-league team to start the season after they went 16-4 last year, including a 5-0 mark in the Big East regular season campaign, and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Villanova and Georgetown each only have three, so it seems like picking the Pios to maintain their control of the league for now is the smart choice. Georgetown and Villanova are interchangeable really, as far as I can tell, but the Hoyas did knock off Denver in the Big East title game last season, so I’ll give them the advantage here. That leaves Marquette and Old Dominion to slot into place, and well, ODU only beat Butler last year, and MU figured out how to get three league wins. Sure, the Golden Eagles are losing a metric ton of offense, including the program’s all time leading scorer in Grace Gabriel, but I think they’ve still got the upper hand here.
As a reminder, this will be the final year of Big East women’s lacrosse without Connecticut. The Huskies will be back in the fold as of July of this year, so they’ll be in the league a year from now. We will have to wait and see what that means for the future size and membership of the Big East, as that will leave the AAC in need of a member to stay at six teams themselves. Does that mean Old Dominion flips over there? Does someone else in the AAC start a team? Does the AAC find someone else as an associate member? We’ll have to wait and see!