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Lydia Foust Named Big East Midfielder of the Year; Marquette Wins Coaching Staff of the Year

Elsewhere in the Big East women’s lacrosse postseason awards: 6 women earned all-conference honors, including a new record four Golden Eagles on the First Team!

Lydia Foust
Lydia Foust is just the second Marquette player to ever win an individual postseason award from the Big East
Marquette University

With the Big East women’s lacrosse tournament set to start on Friday, it was time for the league office to announce the postseason awards. That made Thursday a pretty good day to be a Golden Eagle, as Marquette was featured heavily! The Golden Eagles took home two of the top line awards, as Lydia Foust was named Big East Midfielder of the Year, while head coach Meredith Black and her assistants Caitlin Wolf and Jill Rizzo were named Coaching Staff of the Year.

On top of those awards, five more players joined Foust on the Big East’s all-conference teams. Foust is one of four to be named to the league’s First Team, along with Ellie Henry, Mary Schumar, and Emma Soccodato. Foust is the only one of the four to be a unanimous choice, while four Golden Eagles on the First Team is a new program record, one of many set by the team this season. Shea Garcia and Leigh Steiner added to Marquette’s bounty of honors with their inclusion on the All-Big East Second Team.

We turn to the official write-ups. First for Foust from the league office:

Foust is the second Marquette player to earn the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year award. Grace Gabriel shared the honors in both the 2018 and 2019 season. The senior led the BIG EAST in shots (8.24 per game, 140 total), total goals (54) and tied for first in game-winning goals (6). The four-time BIG EAST Midfielder of the Week in 2023 enters the postseason nationally ranked 16th in goals and 25th in goals per game.

She’s not only the second player to earn Middie OTY, she’s also the second Golden Eagle to ever earn a positional award with Gabriel’s MOTY trophies standing as MU’s only other honors.

And then Black and her staff from the league office:

Marquette garners BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year honors for the first time in program history. Led by 11th-year head coach Meredith Black, the Golden Eagles have had a historic season with a program-record 15 wins and went on another program-record 12 game-winning streak during the season. Marquette earned its first IWLCA Division I Poll ranking in program history this season and is currently ranked No. 19. The Golden Eagles have the third-best scoring offense in the country (16.24). They are also third in points per game (24.82), fourth in assists per game (8.41) and sixth in win percentage (.882).

With the Big East coaches voting Marquette to finish fourth in the league this season and the Golden Eagles accomplishing everything that they have this season, this was a no-brainer. Heck, even if the coaches had voted MU second where I had them in my preseason picks, this is still a no-brainer.

We turn our attention to the Marquette press release to discuss the other five players. First, Ellie Henry:

A senior defender from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Henry was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, earning yearly honors for the second-straight season after being named to the second team in 2022. Henry serves as MU’s defensive anchor, and is a crucial piece of one of the nation’s top draw teams. She leads the team and ranks third in the BIG EAST with 6.0 draws per game, while as a team the Golden Eagles average 18.24 draw controls per game, 7th in NCAA history. She also leads the team in caused turnovers (22) and ranks second in ground balls (32).

Mary Schumar:

A senior attacker from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Schumar earned her second-consecutive nod to the All-BIG EAST First Team. She has shattered several program records and is having one of the top seasons as a facilitator in NCAA history. Schumar leads the nation with 4.0 assists per game, a mark which ranks fourth in NCAA history, and has shattered Marquette season records in both assists (66) and points (85). She ranks sixth nationally in points per game with 5.12.

She leads the nation in assists per game which happens to be the fourth best average in NCAA history if it stands up to the end of the year and ranks sixth nationally in points per game, but Schumar isn’t a unanimous choice for the all-conference First Team. What are we — and by we, I mean the Big East coaches not named Meredith Black who can’t vote for her own players — even doing here? We’ll circle back to this.

Onwards, to Emma Soccodato:

A senior midfielder from Huntington, New York, Soccodato was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, earning yearly honors for the second-straight season after being named to the second team in 2022. Soccodato is a versatile player who plays an important role for the Golden Eagles on offense, defense and the draw. She ranks second on the team in both ground balls (32) and caused turnovers (14), and is third in draw controls (52) for one of the nation’s top draw teams. Additionally, she has totaled 27 points on 23 goals and four assists.

Shea Garcia:

A senior attacker from Manhasset, New York, Garcia earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors for the second-straight season. The second-leading scorer on one of the nation’s top scoring offenses, Garcia has totaled 45 goals this season, while her 2.81 goals per game rank fourth in the BIG EAST. She also ranks eighth in the conference in points per game with 3.31. Garcia has scored in 15 of the 16 games she’s played this season, going for seven hat tricks and scoring a program-record eight goals against Xavier.

And we wrap up with Leigh Steiner:

A junior midfielder from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Steiner earned the first all-conference honor of her career with a spot on the All-BIG EAST Second Team. Steiner has had a well-rounded season for Marquette, going for 31 points on 19 goals and 12 assists, along with 20 ground balls, 10 caused turnovers and 19 draw controls. She’s a consistent offensive threat for MU, recording multiple points in 10 games this year, and a key part of the team’s defensive midfield.

In the other top honors, there was a three-way tie for Big East Attacker of the Year. UConn’s Kate Shaffer, Denver’s Julia Gilbert, and Villanova’s Sydney Pappas all get to lay claim to the award this season, and with seven votes, I presume this means that they each got two votes. You’ll notice that Ranks Sixth Nationally In Points Per Game Mary Schumar is not included in this tie. Perhaps she got the seventh vote. Here’s what I know for sure: Pappas and Shaffer are #1 and #3 in the Big East in goals per game with Lydia Foust landing between them. No shade in Foust, a midfielder, not being named Attacker of the Year. Gilbert, the best scorer on the best team in the league and last standing undefeated team in the country is tied for seventh in goals per game and she doesn’t even crack the top 10 in points per game. Schumar, on the other hand, is leading the Big East in assists and points per game. She’s the only player averaging more than 1.9 assists per game.... and she’s at 4.00. Schumar is the only player in the Big East averaging more than five points per game and she’s one of just two — Shaffer is the other — averaging more than four points a game.

But that’s not good enough for “best player listed as an attacker in the Big East” this season, and since Schumar isn’t even a unanimous choice for the First Team, she might not even be close to that in the eyes of the coaches. If Attacker of the Year is just “Best Goal Scorer” then let’s just rename the award and be done with it instead of pretending that we actually care about all facets of the game.


Denver’s Sam Thacker was a unanimous choice for Defensive Player of the Year, and that’s no surprise, not with her getting that trophy by unanimous vote last season and the Pioneers not allowing more than nine goals in any game so far this year. Landyn White from UConn took home Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight season, so that one also wasn’t a surprise. First year program Xavier gets to end their season on a positive note as Lola Mancuso was named Freshman of the Year. She was the top scoring freshman in the league this season and fourth best in the country, so that one was probably pretty easy for the coaches to figure out. What’s not easy to figure out is how Mancuso isn’t on the all-conference second team...... but fellow XU freshman Erin Berls is.

#19 ranked Marquette returns to action on Friday afternoon when they face #24 ranked UConn in the Big East tournament semifinals. First draw at Marrone Stadium in Storrs is set for 12pm Central time, and FloSports will have the broadcast. The winner will advance to the title game on Sunday.

Let’s wrap up here with the rundown of the all-conference teams!

All-Big East First Team^

Leah Rubino, Butler, Jr., M
Madelyn George, Connecticut, Sr., M*
Kate Shaffer, Connecticut, Sr., A
Landyn White, Connecticut, Gr., GK
Emelia Bohi, Denver, So., GK
Ellie Curry, Denver, Sr., M
Julia Gilbert, Denver, Sr., A
Trinity McPherson, Denver, Gr., D
Sam Thacker, Denver, Sr., D*
Tatum Geist, Georgetown, Jr., M
Kylie Hazen, Georgetown, Jr., A
Lydia Foust, Marquette, Sr., M*
Ellie Henry, Marquette, Sr., D
Mary Schumar, Marquette, Sr., A
Emma Soccodato, Marquette, Sr., M
Caroline Curnal, Villanova, Gr., DS
Sydney Pappas, Villanova, So., A

All-Big East Second Team^

Kate Kaptrosky, Butler, Fr., M
Grace Coon, Connecticut, Gr., A
Ariana Kline, Connecticut, Sr., D
Lia LaPrise, Connecticut, Gr., A
Lauren Black, Denver, So., A
Ryan Dineen, Denver, Fr., A
Bryn McCaughey, Denver, Jr., D
Abby Jenkins, Denver, Jr., DS
Nicole Massimino, Georgetown, Gr., D
Shea Garcia, Marquette, Sr., A
Leigh Steiner, Marquette, Jr., M
Sami Carey, Villanova, So., A
Mary Kate Conniff, Villanova, Jr., D
Olivia Conquest, Villanova, So., GK
Erin Berls, Xavier, Fr., M
Jess Harrison, Xavier, Gr., M

*denotes unanimous selection
^extra players added due to a tie in voting