Jan. 30, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Four-time defending Patriot League Champion Navy women's lacrosse was chosen to finish second in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, which was announced on Thursday. Newcomer Loyola, a former member of the BIG EAST, was picked as a heavy favorite to win the league, receiving 15 of the 16 possible first-place votes.
Since its inaugural season in 2008, Navy has reached the Patriot League Championship game five-straight years in a row and has won the last four. Last season, Navy tallied its most wins in a season (19) and advanced its furthest in the NCAA Tournament with a win in the first round against Monmouth. The Mids have currently won 17-straight games against league opponents (regular and postseason), including a perfect 6-0 regular-season record the last two seasons.
Loyola finished first in the poll with 127 total points with Navy right behind at 113 points. Former member of the America East, Boston University, was picked to finish third in the league with 94 points. Despite a 6-10 record in 2013, the Terriers enter the Patriot League having won nine America East Tournament Championships since 2000.
Holy Cross, the league's runner-up last season, was picked to finish fourth with 76 points and American completed the top five with 72 points. Lafayette (61), Colgate (47), Lehigh (38) and Bucknell (20) rounded out the poll in that order, respectively.
The Patriot League also announced its preseason all-conference team along with the preseason offensive and defensive player of the year. Navy's junior goalkeeper Annie Foky (Charlottesville, Va.) was selected as the league's defensive preseason player of the year and junior attack Loren Generi (Bayport, N.Y.), along with Foky, were named to the All-Patriot League Preseason Team.
Navy returns seven starters from last season, including its top-two goal scorers in senior co-captain Aimee Gennaro (Havertown, Pa.) and All-Patriot League First Team Generi. The Mids attack duo accumulated 126 goals last season, which was 45 percent of their total offensive output. Attacking midfielder and co-captain Jill Coughlin (Annapolis, Md.) also returns as Navy's fifth-leading scorer from a year ago with 21 goals.
On the defensive side, Foky will anchor a defense that returns four key members from last year's backline that was ranked third in the NCAA in scoring defense (7.43). The junior goalkeeper recorded a program-best 17-wins and a 7.13 goals against average en route to her first career Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honor. Two of last season's starting defenders Lindsay Rheiner
(Wycombe, Pa.) and Kelsey Henshaw
(Chester, Md.) return, both of which combined for 58 ground balls, 26 draw controls and 23 caused turnovers in 2013.
The Mids travel to Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday, Feb. 1 for their lone preseason scrimmage against Virginia at noon. Following the scrimmage, Navy will open the 2014 season on the road against Longwood in Farmville, Va. at Athletics Complex (Noon) on Saturday, Feb. 8.
Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
1. Loyola (15 first-place votes), 127 points
2. Navy (3), 113
3. Boston University, 94
4. Holy Cross, 76
5. American, 72
6. Lafayette, 61
7. Colgate, 47
8. Lehigh, 38
9. Bucknell, 20
Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Marlee Paton, Loyola (Sr., M)
Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Annie Foky, Navy (Jr., GK)
Women's Lacrosse Preseason All-Patriot League Team
Loren Generi, Navy (Jr., A)
Hannah Schmitt, Loyola (Jr., A)
Annie Thomas, Loyola (Jr., A)
Emily Maher, American (Sr., M)
Marlee Paton, Loyola (Sr., M)
Taryn VanThof, Loyola (Jr., M)
Ana White, Lafayette (Sr., M)
Corinne Caracausa, Holy Cross (Sr., D)
Jenna Frost, Colgate (Jr., D)
Maddy Lesher, Loyola (So., D)
Rachel Martin, Lafayette (Sr., D)
Annie Foky, Navy (Jr., GK)