The start of the 2022 women’s lacrosse season is nine days away, so yeah, it’s time for a preseason poll from the Big East! That came out on Thursday morning, and we’ll just cut straight to the Marquette angle of the whole thing: Senior midfielder Lydia Foust is Marquette’s only representative on the 15 woman preseason all-conference team, while the Golden Eagles as a team were picked to finish fifth in the Big East this season.
It looks like there were narrow margins at the top of the Big East poll, with Denver earning the top spot by just four points ahead of Connecticut Huskies. However, the Pioneers picked up all five available first place votes from the league’s coaches as they are not able to vote for their own team. That makes the Pios the unanimous pick to win as UConn’s lone vote came from Denver head coach Liza Kelly. It would appear from the math of things that Marquette is the unanimous pick to finish in fifth place in the Big East. Butler picked up all five available last place votes as they have only five points. If we figure that Marquette was right ahead of Butler on the four non-BU ballots for two points each and then last on the ballot turned in by the Bulldogs for one point, that’s how you get to exactly nine points.
Lydia Foust was recently named as a Marquette captain for the 2022 season by a vote from the players themselves. MU’s press release on the Big East awards isn’t out as I type this, but I can just as easily use the writeup on Foust from the release on the captains to tell you exactly why she’s on the all-Big East squad:
She is coming off the best season of her career, a campaign which saw her earn All-BIG EAST First Team honors in 2021. The Redwood City, California, native is the team’s top returning scorer from a season ago, when she totaled 28 goals and six assists, while also winning the team’s ‘Hustle’ Award.
Seems pretty straight forward. Foust starts the year with the 13th most points in program history, and if she turns into MU’s leading scorer this season, she has a shot at cracking into the top 10 by the end of the season. Foust was one of 10 unanimous choices on the preseason all-conference team.
Onwards to the rest of the voting for the Big East awards!
Sydney Watson from Connecticut is your Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. That’s not who I went with in my preseason picks — teammate Lia LaPrise because I like recognizing the ability to hand out assists, too — but seeing as Watson lead the entire Big East in goals per game last season and averaged (!) a hat trick per game, I can’t knock the pick. Villanova’s Sydney Frank was named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, and given that she’s a senior who was on the All-Big East First Team as a junior last year, it seems like the most obvious pick to make.
As for the Preseason All-Big East Team, the only question is why it has 15 women on it. All 12 women on my preseason all-conference team are in that 15. Considering I went with 12 because that’s the number of players on the field at one time, I don’t know why there are 15 from the official league poll. Seems weird and unnecessary. The three additions are UConn’s Grace Coon on attack along with Georgetown’s Annabelle Albert and Villanova’s Alexa Tsahalis in the midfield. I was actually close to putting Coon on my team just went with a different Husky for one of the attack spots.
On that note: There are six UConn women on the preseason all-conference team against just three from Denver..... and yet Denver was the preseason pick in the poll. I had five Huskies on my all-conference team, which is why I picked them to finish first. I suspect that no matter what happened with the players, the coaches voted for the Pioneers because they went 10-0 in Big East action last year. Can’t knock the approach, honestly.
Marquette starts the season on Saturday, February 12, when they host Cincinnati at Valley Fields. First draw is scheduled for Noon Central. Hopefully we get confirmation on attendance policies and/or streaming for that one soon.
Let’s wrap up with a rundown on the voting, shall we?
BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Denver (5 first place votes) 25
2. Connecticut (1) 21
3. Georgetown 17
4. Villanova 13
5. Marquette 9
6. Butler 5
BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Sydney Watson, UConn, Grad., M
BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Sydney Frank, Villanova, Sr., D
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Grace Coon, UConn, Sr., A*
Ariana Kline, UConn, Jr., D*
Lia LaPrise, UConn, Sr., A*
Stephanie Palmucci, UConn, Grad., A
Sydney Watson, UConn, Grad., M*
Landyn White, UConn, Sr., GK*
Bea Behrins, Denver, Grad., A*
Sammie Morton, Denver, Grad., D
Sam Thacker, Denver, Jr., D
Annabelle Albert, Georgetown, Sr., M
Kylie Hazen, Georgetown, So., A*
Lydia Foust, Marquette, Sr., M*
Sydney Frank, Villanova, Sr., D*
Libby McKenna, Villanova, Sr., M*
Alexa Tsahalis, Villanova, Sr., M