Aug. 13, 2014
NEW YORK –
Marquette was unanimously picked to win the 2014 BIG EAST women’s soccer title as the Conference revealed the Preseason Coaches’ Poll on Wednesday afternoon. Additionally, the league’s head coaches tabbed Rachel Daly of St. John’s as BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, the Red Storm’s Georgia Kearney-Perry as Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and DePaul’s Alejandria Godinez the Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.
The Golden Eagles nabbed all nine first-place votes for 81 points, with Georgetown earning the remaining available vote and 72 points for runner-up honors. St. John’s followed in third (64 points), with DePaul (56 points) and Butler (48) rounding out the projected top half of the BIG EAST. Villanova was picked to finish sixth (42), followed by Seton Hall in seventh (27), Creighton eighth (24), Providence ninth (22) and Xavier 10th (14). Coaches could not vote for their own teams or players.
Marquette has lost just one BIG EAST game over the past three seasons (20-1-1) and enters 2014 sporting a 28-game unbeaten streak in league play. The Golden Eagles went 9-0 in BIG EAST action last season and finished 18-4-0 overall, to include their second consecutive BIG EAST Tournament crown and sixth straight NCAA Championship bid. Picked No. 15 in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, MU returns its second-leading scorer from 2013, Mary Luba (eight goals, five assists), a unanimous Preseason All-BIG EAST selection, as well as Mady Vicker, also a Preseason All-BIG EAST pick, who registered six goals to rank tied for third last year.
Hermann Trophy Watch List member and unanimous Preseason All-BIG EAST honoree Daphne Corboz will lead Georgetown, which was tabbed second in the BIG EAST coaches’ poll. The Hoyas, listed 20th in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, finished 2013 with a 7-1-1 mark in league play and were 16-3-2 overall, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Second Round.
Led by a pair of preseason major award winners, St. John’s was picked to finish third and will aim for its highest finish since BIG EAST regular-season play began in 1995. Junior forward Rachel Daly was the national leader in goals scored (23) in her first season with the Red Storm in 2013, en route to being named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. Georgia Kearney-Perry anchored the St. John’s defensive line which boasted 10 shutouts in 2013, second most among all BIG EAST squads, while opponents averaged just 0.92 goals per game against the Red Storm. St. John’s finished 2013 with a 4-3-2 mark in conference play. The Red Storm claimed their second ever NCAA Championship bid, earning an upset win in the first round before bowing out in the Second with a 12-6-3 record on the year.
Led by BIG EAST Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year Alejandria Godinez, DePaul went 13-6-2 last season while setting a program record for most points (16) in league play with a 5-3-1 record. The Blue Demons advanced to the BIG EAST title game for the first time since joining the league in 2005, earning their first NCAA Championship bid since joining the league and second time in program history. Godinez, a junior, played all but nine minutes in net last season for DePaul, boasting league-best figures in goals against average (0.69), shutouts (nine) and save percentage (.900). Godinez was joined on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team by fellow Blue Demon Elise Wyatt.
In its inaugural season in the BIG EAST, Butler went 4-5-0 and 11-7-2 overall. The Bulldogs, picked fifth in the coaches’ poll, have a pair of Preseason All-BIG EAST Team members in Serina Kashimoto and Sophia Maccagnone. Kashimoto started all 20 games as a true freshman and was part of a defensive unit that posted seven shutouts. Maccagnone ranked second in the league to the St. John’s All-American Daly in shots, points and goals last season, while also ranking fourth among BIG EAST players in assists.
Villanova (6-10-3, 3-5-1 BIG EAST) enters its first season with Fran Kulas as head coach and returns its leading scorer from a year ago in Katie Martin. The sophomore forward garnered Preseason All-BIG EAST accolades after scoring six goals and adding 10 assists during her freshman campaign.
Seton Hall went 5-11-2 overall and 3-6-0 in conference play a year ago and is under the direction of new head coach, Rick Stainton.
Creighton went 9-8-1 overall and 2-6-1 in its first season of BIG EAST play. Kirstyn Corder, who scored a team-high seven goals in 2013, returns this season for the Bluejays. Providence (6-9-3, 3-6-0 BIG EAST) rounds out the list of teams with new head coaches as Sam Lopes took the reins this past spring. The Friars’ Catherine Zimmerman was voted to the Preseason All-BIG EAST squad after leading PC with seven goals in 2013.
Xavier (9-8-1, 2-7-0) enters its second season in the BIG EAST with 2013’s leading scorer Tori Doss. Doss tallied 13 points on four goals and five assists.
Nine out of 10 BIG EAST teams will kick off the 2014 season on Aug. 22, with conference games getting under way on Sept. 25. St. John’s will serve as host of the BIG EAST Championship, which is slated for Nov. 7 and 9 at Belson Stadium in Jamaica, N.Y. First Round contests will be played at campus sites on Nov. 4.
BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Marquette – 81 points (9 first-place votes)*
2. Georgetown – 72 (1 first-place vote)
3. St. John's – 64
4. DePaul – 56
5. Butler – 48
6. Villanova – 42
7. Seton Hall – 27
8. Creighton – 24
9. Providence – 22
10. Xavier – 14
BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Rachel Daly, Jr., D/F, St. John’s
BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Georgia Kearney-Perry, Sr., D/M, St. John’s
BIG EAST Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Alejandria Godinez, Jr., DePaul
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Daphne Corboz, Sr., M, Georgetown*
Rachel Daly, Jr., D/F, St. John’s*
Alex Godinez, Jr., GK, DePaul
Serina Kashimoto, So., M, Butler
Georgia Kearney-Perry, St. John’s*
Mary Luba, Sr., M, Marquette*
Sophia Maccagnone, Jr., M, Butler
Katie Martin, So., F, Villanova
Mady Vicker, Sr., M/F, Marquette
Elise Wyatt, Jr., F, DePaul
Catherine Zimmerman, Jr., F, Providence