Notre Dame and Marquette Picked To Win Women's Soccer Divisional Titles

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Notre Dame and Marquette were picked as favorites in the 2012 BIG EAST preseason women's soccer poll. The Irish were chosen to win the league's National Division with 12 first-place votes, while the Golden Eagles had 13 first-place votes and sit atop the American Division in the poll. Each team advanced to the NCAA tournament last year and returns an All-BIG EAST Preseason Team member. The votes were cast by the league's 15 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams.

 

Notre Dame totaled 109 points and has been picked first in each of the last 17 years dating to 1995, when it joined the BIG EAST. Junior Mandy Laddish was named to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. She played in all 21 games for the Irish last season and was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection. Recently she was named to the United States Under-20 National Team and will head to Japan to compete in the U-20 World Cup. The Irish went 10-8-3 (6-3-2 BIG EAST) last season.

 

Headlining the American Division was Marquette with 97 points. The Golden Eagles (18-4, 10-1 BIG EAST) won the regular-season title last year and made their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA tournament. Senior Ally Miller is the league's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. She helped anchor one of the league's top defenses last year allowing just seven goals in 11 conference games for a 0.63 goals-against average. Outside league play, Marquette totaled a league-best 13 shutouts.

 

Junior Maegan Kelly led the team offensively with 40 points, including 14 goals, in 2011 and was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. The forward/midfielder was picked for the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team to begin 2012 and is the league's top returning scorer.

 

Louisville junior Christine Exeter, the league's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, will look to lead the Cardinals (14-7-3, 8-1-2 BIG EAST) who were picked second in the National Division. Louisville, coming off its first National Division title, tallied 98 points, including two first-place votes. Conference accolades are nothing new for Exeter, who was the 2011 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. The forward totaled 31 points, including 14 goals, leading Louisville to the title game of the BIG EAST Championship.

 

Connecticut was picked second in the American Division with 84 points, including two first-place votes. The Huskies (7-8-2, 4-5-2 BIG EAST) return 15 letterwinners and eight starters in 2012, including a pair of All-BIG EAST Preseason Team selections. Sophomore Riley Houle started 16 games last season and totaled seven points, including three goals. Senior Danielle Schulmann started 15 games and had a team-leading 15 points, including seven goals. Both were All-BIG EAST Preseason Team picks.

 

USF was picked third in the American Division with 57 points and will be led by All-BIG EAST Preseason Team member Demi Stokes. A junior forward, Stokes led the Bulls with 12 points, including four goals, last season. Providence was picked fourth with 52 points, tied with Syracuse. The Orange will be led by Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year Brittany Anghel. The junior played every minute of the season last year, making 65 saves with seven shutouts while holding a 1.31 goals-against average.

 

Georgetown was tabbed third in the National Division totaling 83 points and will be led by sophomore Daphne Corboz. The midfielder had 10 goals and 21 points in 21 games last season. She is an All-BIG EAST Preseason Team member. The Hoyas (15-6, 8-3 BIG EAST) are coming off their best regular season in school history having totaled 15 wins for the second straight year. Georgetown is one of three current BIG EAST teams to amass at least 30 wins over the past two seasons along with Notre Dame (31) and Marquette (33).

 

Rutgers (8-8-3, 3-5-3 BIG EAST) was picked fourth in the National Division with 78 points and one first-place vote. Rutgers returns All-BIG EAST Preseason selection Jonelle Filigno. A redshirt junior, Filingo started seven games last year and led the team with 13 points before an injury ended her season. The forward was a member of the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team and saw action in London. In 21 career collegiate games, she has 25 points, including 10 goals.

 

Villanova junior Jami Kranich also was named the league's Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. She played every minute of the team's 19 games last year, holding a 1.78 goals-against average along with 75 saves. Recently she was named to the United States Under-20 National Team and will head to Japan to compete in the U-20 World Cup. The Wildcats were picked fifth in the National Division with 52 points.

The 2012 women's soccer season kicks off Aug. 17 with 14 teams in action, while BIG EAST play is set to begin on Sept. 13. Eight of the league's 12 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team members are juniors, including returning Offensive Player of the Year Christine Exeter.

The league's 15 members compete within two divisions, with the top four teams from each division advancing to the 2012 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Championship. The next two teams, regardless of division, will be at-large selections to the 10-team conference championship. With some league teams playing 11 conference games, and some playing 10 conference games, each division will be ordered based on a points per game average.

The top three teams in each division earn first-round byes to the quarterfinals. The first-round and quarterfinal games are conducted on the campuses of the higher-seeded teams.

First-round games will be held on Oct. 25, with the quarterfinals following on Oct. 28. UConn's Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn., will serve as host for the semifinals (Nov. 2) as well as the championship game (Nov. 4). The tournament champion receives the league's automatic berth into the 64-team NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship.

 

 

2012 BIG EAST WOMEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL

                                                                     2011               2011                  2011 BIG EAST

American                               Points          Overall           BIG EAST          Regular Season Finish       

1. Marquette (13)               97              18-4-0          10-1-0             T-1st

2. Connecticut (2)               84              7-8-2            4-5-2              6th

3. USF                              57              6-8-4            2-6-3              7th

4. Providence                    52              8-9-4            5-6-0              T-4th

4. Syracuse                      52              7-8-3            6-5-0              3rd

6. St. John's                     50              9-9-1            5-6-0              T-4th      

7. Pittsburgh                     21              2-13-4          1-8-2              8th          

 

                                                       2011               2011                  2011 BIG EAST

National                                 Points          Overall           BIG EAST          Regular Season Finish

1. Notre Dame (12)            109            10-8-3          6-3-2              3rd

2. Louisville (2)                  98              14-7-3          8-1-2              1st

3. Georgetown                  83              15-6-0          8-3-0              2nd

4. Rutgers (1)                   78              8-8-3            3-5-3              5th

5. Villanova                       52              8-9-2            4-7-0              6th

6. Seton Hall                     50              9-8-3            4-6-1              4th

7. DePaul                         33              3-14-1          1-9-1              8th

8. Cincinnati                      29              6-9-4            2-7-2              7th

 

2012 BIG EAST PRESEASON AWARD WINNERS

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

Christine Exeter, Louisville, Jr., F

 

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Ally Miller, Marquette, Sr., D

 

Preseason Goalkeepers of the Year

Brittany Anghel, Syracuse, Jr., GK

Jami Kranich, Villanova, Jr., GK

 

All-BIG EAST Preseason Team^

Brittany Anghel, Syracuse, Jr., GK

Daphne Corboz, Georgetown, So., M

*Christine Exeter, Louisville, Jr., F

Jonelle Filigno, Rutgers, R-Jr., F

Riley Houle, Connecticut, So., M

Maegan Kelly, Marquette, Jr., F/M

Jami Kranich, Villanova, Jr., GK

Mandy Laddish, Notre Dame, Jr., M

Amy Marron, St. John's, Jr., F/M

Ally Miller, Marquette, Sr., D

Danielle Schulmann, Connecticut, Sr., F

Demi Stokes, USF, Jr., F

 

* unanimous selection

^ due to a tie in voting, an extra member has been added to the Preseason Team