The Big East officially kicked off the fall sports season on Thursday afternoon when they announced the results of the poll of the league’s coaches to determine the preseason awards in women’s soccer. As you might be able to discern from the headline, it’s a bit of a disappointing day for Marquette. The Golden Eagles were picked to finish eighth in the conference this fall. They acquired 42 points in the polling, with 10 points going for a first place vote and one point for a last place vote. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
That’s just one point behind seventh place Creighton, so at least that’s close. It is, however, 15 points away from sixth place Connecticut, and that’s not ideal. The top six teams in the Big East qualify for the conference tournament, and at the moment, it certainly appears that the collection of the league’s coaches don’t see MU as close to that top six. They are 11 points in front of ninth place DePaul, so there is that.
Here’s the full rundown on the voting, which is notable as there are three teams getting first place votes as opposed to the usual “can’t vote for your own team” thing giving us two teams with a top vote.
- Georgetown, 98 points (8 first place votes)
- Xavier, 91 (2)
- Butler, 83 (1)
- Providence, 69
- St. John’s, 59
- Connecticut Huskies, 57
- Creighton, 43
- Marquette, 42
- DePaul, 31
- Villanova, 22
- Seton Hall, 10
Unsurprisingly, Marquette did not pick up any of the three individual awards given out by the league at the start of the season. Also unsurprisingly but disappointingly, MU did not get anyone on the 11 woman preseason all-conference team. As a Second Team honoreee last fall, midfielder Katrina Wetherell would have been Marquette’s best shot at that, but if you’re voting MU clearly in the back half of the league, then there’s no reason to give an all-conference spot to the Golden Eagles. Can’t say I blame anyone here, as I put MU in my top six but still couldn’t justify giving Wetherell a place in that list of 11.
All three individual awards went in the direction I expected, just not the way I picked them. The league’s coaches installed Butler’s Katie Soderstrom as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, because that’s what you do for the most productive returning player. Georgetown’s Allie Augur was named preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, because that’s what you do when the best statistical keeper from last season is returning. Preseason Defensive Player of the Year..... well, that’s interesting. My pick was Butler’s Aliya Diagne, who did make her way onto the preseason all-conference team. The coaches picked Georgetown’s Julia Leas, and at this point, I would like to provide you with two quotes. The first is me, nine days ago, discussing my pick of Diagne as PDPOY:
Watch the coaches figure out a way to give this to someone from Georgetown even though the Hoyas had three players listed as Graduate Students listed as defenders last season.
The second is the Big East press release on last fall’s end of season awards, discussing Leas being named Big East Midfielder of the Year:
Leas helped facilitate a Georgetown offense which averaged a BIG EAST-best 6.20 points per game over 10 league contests.
Hey, check it out, I was right, the coaches figured out a way to give this to a Georgetown player, even though nine months ago she was the best midfielder in the conference because of her offensive play! Great job, everybody!
Let’s wrap up with the full 11 woman preseason all-Big East team. Asterisks mark the players that were unanimous picks by the coaches. I went 9-for-11 on these picks, so it’s kind of surprising that there’s only three players named by all 10 coaches that aren’t their own coach, even more so since one of them is not the seemingly obvious pick for the best keeper in the league heading into the season.
Preseason All-Big East Team
Aliya Diagne, Butler, R-Jr., D
Katie Soderstrom, Butler, R-Sr., F*
Jaydah Bedoya, Connecticut, Jr., F
Aida Kardovic, Creighton, Sr., M*
Allie Augur, Georgetown, Sr., GK
Julia Leas, Georgetown, Sr., M*
Gia Vicari, Georgetown, Sr., F
Meg Hughes, Providence, Jr., F
Jessica Garziano, St. John’s, Sr., M
Molly McLaughlin, Xavier, Grad., M
Ella Rogers, Xavier, So., M