CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The Patriot League's women's basketball coaches and sports information contacts for the sport have tabbed Navy as the favorite to win the 2014 league title and Jade Geif (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.) as the 2013-14 Pre-Season Player of the Year.
Navy, which has shared league regular season crowns in 2011 and `13 and won the 2011, `12 and `13 league tournament titles, amassed 157 points and 14 first-place nods in the voting. The Mids have posted a 38-13 record against Patriot League foes over the last three regular seasons and tournaments. Additionally, Navy and American are the only schools to have posted a winning league regular season record in each of the last five years and is the lone program to have won at least one league tournament game annually during that same timespan.
The Mids return all five of their starters and each of their eight letterwinners from last year's team that posted an 11-3 record in league play and a 21-12 record on the full season.
Placing second in the balloting was Army, which shared the regular season title with Navy a year ago. The Black Knights totaled 133 points and three first-place selections in the pre-season voting. Finishing in third place was new league member Boston University. The Terriers posted a 24-6 record during the 2012-13 season, which was their last in the America East Conference. The fourth team to tally over 100 points in the voting was Holy Cross with 112 points. The Mids have defeated the Crusaders in the championship game of the Patriot League Tournament in each of the last two seasons.
Lehigh, which finished in fifth place in the league last year, totaled 97 points in this year's voting to place fifth in the poll. The Mountain Hawks were followed by American in sixth place with 87 points, Bucknell in seventh (62 points), Loyola in eighth (54), Lafayette in ninth (37) and Colgate in 10th (33).
Geif garnered First-Team All-Patriot League honors in 2013 after earning second-team accolades in 2012 and being named as the league's rookie of the year in 2011. In addition to leading the league and ranking 13th nationally with a field goal percentage of 53.2 percent last year, she also ranked among the top-10 players in the league in scoring (fourth), rebounding (fourth), offensive rebounds (fourth), defensive rebounds (fifth) and minutes played (ninth).
Completing the five-player Pre-Season All-Patriot League Team were Army's Kelsey Minato, who was the 2013 league player and rookie of the year, Boston's Rashidat Agboola, Alex Smith from Holy Cross and Lehigh's Kerry Kinek. Smith and Kinek both received first-team all-league honors last season, while Agboola received First-Team All-America East laurels last year.
Voters were not allowed to cast a ballot for their school or players in the tabulation.
View interviews with Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper and all 10 of the league's head coaches by clicking HERE.
1. Navy - 157 points (14 first-place votes)
2. Army - 133 (3)
3. Boston U. - 128 (3)
4. Holy Cross - 112
5. Lehigh - 97
6. American - 87
7. Bucknell - 62
8. Loyola (Md.) - 54
9. Lafayette - 37
10. Colgate - 33
Preseason All-League Team
Kelsey Minato, Army, So., G
Rashidat Agboola, Boston U., Sr., F
Alex Smith, Holy Cross, Sr., G
Kerry Kinek, Lehigh, So., F
Jade Geif, Navy, Sr., F
Preseason Player of the Year
Jade Geif, Navy, Sr., F