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Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll selects Syracuse Women as Top Team and Tumolo/Block as Top Offensive/Defensive Players

0 Comments 23 January 2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Syracuse was unanimously picked as the preseason favorite in the 2013 BIG EAST women’s lacrosse coaches’ poll.

The Orange return 10 starters and 24 letterwinners from last year’s team, the most successful in program history. Syracuse earned all eight first-place votes and totaled 64 points in the poll. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.

Syracuse (19-4, 8-0 BIG EAST) advanced to the NCAA Championship title game last year before losing to then-No. 2/2 Northwestern 8-6. The Orange went undefeated in BIG EAST regular-season play and totaled a school-record 19 wins.

Syracuse senior Michelle Tumolo, the league’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, was a unanimous pick for the distinction. Accordingly, she was a unanimous preseason All-BIG EAST pick as well. Last year Tumolo had a career-high 95 points, was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award and was named the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year. She joins current assistant coach Katie Rowan as the only players in school history to record 200 points and 100 assists in a career. Last year, Tumolo registered 52 goals and 43 assists.

Senior teammate Becca Block is the league’s unanimous preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Block started all 23 games for the Orange last year and anchored a defense that allowed just 8.87 goals per game. That figure led the league and ranked 11th nationally. Block was an IWLCA First Team All-America selection as well as a unanimous All-BIG EAST selection. She also totaled 47 draw controls, 34 ground balls and 13 points.

Syracuse had five preseason All-BIG EAST selections, more than any other squad, including Tumolo and Block. Junior attack Alyssa Murray, who led the nation in scoring last year with 105 points, was a unanimous selection. Murray scored a league-leading 74 goals last season as well. Junior goalkeeper Alyssa Costantino and junior Katie Webster also were named to the preseason All-BIG EAST team.

Loyola (14-6, 7-1 BIG EAST) was picked to finish second with 57 points, including one first-place vote. The Greyhounds won the BIG EAST tournament last year with a 13-7 win over then-No. 2/2 Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. It was the second straight year the Greyhounds had captured the league’s tournament title.

Last year’s BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, Marlee Paton, is a unanimous preseason All-BIG EAST team selection in 2013. The junior had a league-leading 48 points in league play last year and a team-high 90 points in all games. Sophomores Annie Thomas and Sydney Thomas, no relation, also were unanimous preseason All-BIG EAST team picks. Last season, Annie Thomas totaled 69 points, including 38 goals, while Sydney Thomas had 46 points, including 23 goals.

Notre Dame (13-5, 6-2 BIG EAST) was picked to finish third in the preseason coaches’ poll with 48 points. The Irish were one of three BIG EAST teams in the NCAA Championship last year. Notre Dame had three players on the league’s preseason All-BIG EAST team, including unanimous selections Margaret Smith and Barbara Sullivan. Smith (a junior) and Sullivan (a sophomore) anchored the Notre Dame defense, which allowed 10.42 goals per game. Junior attack Lindsey Powell also earned a spot on the league’s preseason All-BIG EAST team. She had 44 goals in 16 games last year.

Georgetown (9-8, 5-3 BIG EAST) was picked to finish fourth in the standings with 44 points. Three Hoyas were selected to the preseason All-BIG EAST team. Senior midfield Sophia Thomas was a unanimous pick who had 38 goals in 17 games last year. Classmates Ashley Hunter and Kelsi Bozel also were named to the preseason team.

Rutgers (9-7, 4-4 BIG EAST) was picked fifth and will look to senior Stephanie Anderson to lead the team. A preseason All-BIG EAST selection, Anderson had 41 goals and five assists last season.

Connecticut and Louisville were tied for sixth with 26 points, while Villanova and Cincinnati round out the poll. Louisville junior Nikki Boltja also was named to the preseason All-BIG EAST team.

The 2013 BIG EAST women’s lacrosse season began on Jan. 13 as Syracuse won at Jacksonville 21-8 in the earliest regular season game in NCAA history. The season resumes on Feb. 9 as Rutgers hosts Manhattan. The BIG EAST championship is set for Thursday, May 2, with the title game set for Saturday, May 4. The championship will be held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

2013 BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Team Points64









1. Syracuse (8)
2. Loyola (1)
3. Notre Dame
4. Georgetown
5. Rutgers
6. Connecticut
8. Villanova
9. Cincinnati

First-place votes in parentheses

2013 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

*Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse, Senior, Attack

2013 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

*Becca Block, Syracuse, Senior, Defense

2013 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Team

Stephanie Anderson, Rutgers, Senior, Midfield

*Becca Block, Syracuse, Senior, Defense

Nikki Boltja, Louisville, Junior, Midfield

Kelsi Bozel, Georgetown, Senior, Midfield

Alyssa Costantino, Syracuse, Junior, Goalkeeper

Ashley Hunter, Georgetown, Senior, Defense

*Alyssa Murray, Syracuse, Junior, Attack

*Marlee Paton, Loyola, Junior, Midfield

Lindsey Powell, Notre Dame, Junior, Attack

*Margaret Smith, Notre Dame, Junior, Defense

*Barbara Sullivan, Notre Dame, Sophomore, Defense

*Annie Thomas, Loyola, Sophomore, Attack

*Sophia Thomas, Georgetown, Senior, Midfield

*Sydney Thomas, Loyola, Sophomore, Midfield

*Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse, Senior, Attack

Katie Webster, Syracuse, Junior, Midfield

*unanimous selections

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