Feb. 2, 2012
Center Valley, Pa. - Winners of the past two Patriot League Women's Lacrosse titles, Navy has been picked to take home its third in a row in 2012 as the Mids were the unanimous choice of opposing coaches and sports information directors in the sport's preseason poll announced on Thursday.
Navy claimed 72 points and all 12 first-place votes from the other six schools, as coaches and sports information directors were not allowed to vote for their own team. Colgate, who won last year's regular-season title, followed with 61 points and two first-place votes. Lehigh placed third with 53 points, and was followed in order by American (41), Holy Cross (28), Lafayette (27) and Bucknell (12).
Navy junior attack Jasmine DePompeo was voted as the Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, earning a unanimous selection from opposing coaches and sports information directors. Lehigh senior midfielder Leigh Ann Torcivia claimed the Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor.
The Mids won last year's title with a thrilling comeback for a 15-14 victory at top seed Colgate in the Patriot League Championship game. Navy returns 15 letterwinners and nine starters for Head Coach Cindy Timchal, including four who earned All-Patriot League honors last spring. DePompeo is the most accomplished of the group, taking home the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honor and adding the Tournament Most Valuable Player award for her fine season in 2011. She tallied 99 points (57 G, 42 A) to finish third in the NCAA in scoring, and also received All-America recognition. Senior defender Kierstin King was a first-team All-Patriot League selection last year, while junior midfielder Kathy Young and sophomore attack Aimee Gennaro made the second team.
Colgate will challenge the Mids with a strong returning team that includes first-team All-Patriot League midfielder Courtney Miller and last year's Defensive Player of the Year, goalkeeper Christina Roa. Miller led Colgate with 72 points (36 G, 36 A) last season, and returns along with fellow senior and captain Katie Sullivan (32 G, 13 A, 45 pts.). Roa started all 16 games for the Raiders and finished with a 9-7 record and 13.03 goals against average, and also enters her senior year as a captain. The Raiders return 19 letterwinners and nine starters overall from
last year's squad that went 5-1 in the Patriot League.
Lehigh will be faced with the task of replacing the Patriot League's all-time leading scorer, Lauren Dykstra, but the Mountain Hawks have three returning first-team All-League selections to help lead the way. Torcivia was a first-team pick as a junior and helped lead the Lehigh defense with a team-high 41 ground balls and 43 draw controls. Alex Fitzpatrick started all 17 games in goal and earned first-team All-Patriot League honors as a freshman with an 8.66 GAA and .506 save percentage. Kelly Draper enters her senior season coming off a 57 point year (26 G, 31 A) in 2011. Lehigh fell to Navy in last year's Patriot League Tournament semifinals, while
Jill Redfern was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year.
American nearly advanced to the Patriot League title game in Head Coach Laura Campbell's first season, but was upended by Colgate 15-14 in triple overtime in a semifinal matchup. Junior attack Kim Collins and senior midfielder Emily Stankiewicz each received second-team All-Patriot League recognition last spring. Collins led the team with 46 points (30 G, 16 A) while Stankiewicz had 17 goals to go with a team-high 43 ground balls. The Eagles have most of their firepower back on offense, as Bernadette Maher (35) and Samantha Marshall (31) joined Collins
as 30-goal scorers last year.
Holy Cross just missed out on a Patriot League Tournament berth last year, finishing 3-3 after winning three of its final four League contests including a victory over Navy. The Crusaders bring back 18 letterwinners and seven starters in 2012, including leading scorer Kat Sutton (35 G, 9 A, 44 pts.), a second-team All-Patriot League pick. Senior Catherine Furman leads the defense after receiving first-team All-League honors last season.
Lafayette returns nearly its entire roster intact from last season, with Ana White entering her sophomore campaign after being named the 2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Year. White led the Leopards with 44 points (29 G, 15 A), and is one of four players returning who received second-team All-Patriot League honors last year. Junior Addie Godfrey led the team with 36 goals and finished just behind White with 43 points, while junior Caitlin Mitchell and sophomore Rachel Martin each started all 16 games last year to lead the defense. The Leopards have just six seniors on the roster.
While Lafayette has a young team, Bucknell may field the youngest squad in Division I. The Bison have no seniors and two juniors, as Head Coach Randall Goldsborough makes her return to Lewisburg with a group that includes 10 sophomores and 11 freshmen. The Bison will look to their two juniors for leadership and production, as Madison Hurwitz scored 29 goals last year and Adrienne Wendling started all 16 games to lead the defense. Sophomore Katelynn Miller (24 G, 13 A, 37 pts.) is the team's top returning scorer.
Bucknell will be the first Patriot League team to open the season as the Bison visit No. 4 Duke on Saturday. Colgate opens at Stony Brook and Navy is at High Point on Feb. 11, with Holy Cross at Massachusetts on Feb. 15 and American (Davidson), Lafayette (Liberty) and Lehigh (Marist) all starting at home on Feb. 18.
The Patriot League schedule begins on March 10, with League play continuing for the following six Saturdays until the regular-season concludes on April 21. The 2012 Patriot League Tournament will be played at the site of the highest seed with the semifinals on April 27 and the championship matchup on April 29.
For more information, including the 2012 composite schedule, record book and team information links, visit the Patriot League Women's Lacrosse home page
2012 Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
1. Navy, 72 points (12 first-place votes)
2. Colgate, 61 (2)
3. Lehigh, 53
4. American, 41
5. Holy Cross, 28
6. Lafayette, 27
7. Bucknell, 12
Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Jasmine DePompeo, Navy (Jr., A)
Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Leigh Ann Torcivia, Lehigh (Sr., M)