Jan. 25, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has been selected to finish third in the annual BIG EAST preseason poll in voting done by the league’s head coaches. Defending regular-season champ, Georgetown, was selected in the top spot while Syracuse was picked for second. The Hoyas received four first-place votes to three for Syracuse and one for the Irish with Loyola (Md.) also getting one vote.
Overall, the Hoyas recorded 59 points with Syracuse getting 57. The Irish were third with 50 and were followed by Loyola in fourth with 47. Louisville (36), Rutgers (31), Connecticut (23), Cincinnati (14) and Villanova (11) round out the remainder of the standings.
Notre Dame is coming off a 2010 campaign that saw them tie for second in the BIG EAST with Syracuse, as each team was 6-2 on the season in conference play. The two teams met in the BIG EAST Tournament with the Orange knocking off the Irish, 12-11, in four overtimes. The Irish would advance to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season, where they fell to Northwestern in the opening round to finish the year with an 11-7 record and were ranked 12th in the nation.
The BIG EAST also announced its preseason all-BIG EAST team and its preseason offensive and defensive players of the year. Notre Dame had three players selected to the preseason all-BIG EAST team – senior midfielders Kailene Abt (Huntington, N.Y.) and Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) – along with senior defender Jackie Doherty (Ellicott City, Md.). For Blaney, this is her third appearance on the preseason all-BIG EAST team, while Abt and Doherty have been selected for the first time.
Abt was a second team all-BIG EAST selection in 2010 as she finished fourth on the team in scoring with 29 goals and 10 assists for 39 points. Her 29 goals were third among Notre Dame players. A strong, two-way player, Abt also was a second team IWLCA all-West/Midwest regional selection for the first time in her career. She was third on the Irish roster in draw controls with a career-high 29 and had a career-best 19 caused turnovers. Abt was sixth on the team with 23 ground balls.
During the 2010 season, she became the 11th player in the program’s history to go over 100 points for her career. She goes into the 2011 season with 82 goals and 21 assists for 103 career points.
Blaney, who along with Doherty will serve as team captain in 2011, has been selected all-BIG EAST in each of her first three seasons (second team in 2008 and first team in each of the last two years) at Notre Dame. A two-time second team IWLCA All-American, she is recognized as one of the top midfielders in the country.
She is coming off a 2010 season that saw her lead the Irish in goals (40) while finishing third with 43 points and has now scored 40 or more goals in each of her first three seasons. The talented midfielder excelled at both ends of the field. She led Notre Dame with 37 draw controls, was second on the squad with 36 caused turnovers and third with 36 ground balls. Her caused turnovers (2.0 per game) ranked her second in the BIG EAST and 12th in the nation.
Senior defender Jackie Doherty was one of three Irish players selected to the 2011 preseason all-BIG EAST team
Notre Dame’s 2010 team most valuable player, Blaney finished the season by being named to the all-tournament team at the BIG EAST Tournament after leading the Irish with four goals in the 12-11, four-overtime loss to Syracuse. She has been named to the BIG EAST all-tournament team in two (2008 and 2010) of her three seasons at Notre Dame.
She enters the 2011 campaign ranked fifth all-time in goals (127), ninth in points (143), is tied for second in draw controls (126) and fifth in caused turnovers (76).
Doherty rounds out the group of preseason all-BIG EAST selections. She is coming off a 2010 season that saw her become just the second Notre Dame defensive player to be named first team IWLCA All-American. A tough, tenacious defender, Doherty was selected first team all-BIG EAST in 2010 and ranks among the top defensive players in the nation. The winner of Notre Dame’s 2002 Award as the team’s top defender, Doherty led Notre Dame in ground balls (53) and caused turnovers (40) and was second in draw controls with 30. Her 53 ground balls equaled her career high set as a sophomore in 2009, while the 40 caused turnovers marked her best season ever and were the second-highest single-season total in the program’s history.
In BIG EAST play, she led the conference in caused turnovers (2.22 per game) and was fourth best in the nation. Her 2.94 ground balls per game were the best in the conference and ranked 12th nationally. Doherty’s leadership on defense helped the Irish to their lowest goals-against average (10.06) since the 2006 season.
In her first three seasons at Notre Dame, Doherty is eighth in ground balls (121), 11th in draw controls (74) and seventh in caused turnovers (71). She has scored 19 goals with 14 assists for 33 points in 54 career games.
The Irish, ranked 10th by US Lacrosse Magazine in the preseason poll, open the 2011 season on Friday, Feb. 11th in Palo Alto, Calif., where the face the University of California in a 5:00 p.m. (PT) contest.
2011 BIG EAST Coaches Preseason Poll
2010 Records 2010 FinishSchool Points BIG EAST Overall Regular SeasonGeorgetown (4) 59 8-0 13-6 1stSyracuse (3) 57 6-2 15-7 t2ndNotre Dame (1) 50 6-2 11-7 t2ndLoyola (Md.) (1) 47 5-3 11-7 4thLouisville 36 4-4 11-5 t5thRutgers 31 4-4 11-6 t5thConnecticut 23 2-6 9-8 7thCincinnati 14 0-8 5-12 9thVillanova 11 1-7 8-8 8th
2011 Preseason All-BIG EAST TeamKailene Abt, Notre Dame, Sr., M Kelley Barnes, Georgetown, Jr., D *Shaylyn Blaney, Notre Dame, Sr., M *Emily Dashiell, Louisville, Sr., M *Jackie Doherty, Notre Dame, Sr., D *Cara Filippelli, Loyola (Md.), Sr., DBergan Foley, Louisville, Sr., A *Grace Gavin, Loyola (Md.), Sr., M *Liz Hogan, Syracuse, Sr., G *Jordy Kirr, Georgetown, Sr., A *Tee Ladouceur, Syracuse, Sr., ALogan McCraw, Georgetown, Sr., DAbby Rehfuss, Loyola (Md.), Sr., MCatherine Rodriquez, Syracuse, Sr., MMichelle Tumolo, Syracuse, So., AMarlena Welsch, Rutgers, Sr., M* - unanimous selection
Preseason Offensive Player of the YearGrace Gavin, Loyola (Md.), Sr., Attack/Midfield
Preseason Defensive Player of the YearLiz Hogan, Syracuse, Sr., GK