As predicted here several days ago, the Leopards have been picked in the top four by the League SIDs and Coaches, released today by the Patriot League. Coaches and SID’s cannot vote for their own team. Senior Lisa Van der Geest and Sophomore Molly McAndrews were elected to the preseason all league team. Lisa was also named preseason defensive player of the year. She averaged 3.26 shots per game and had 6 assists. She scored six goals and 18 points. Lisa was a third team all American last year. McAndrews was first team all league last year, and rookie of the year.
In addition, as predicted the Leopards were picked in the top four at third this year. Last year Lafayette was fourth in the League, but could have finished second had they beaten Bucknell in the last game. Having won against American last year 3-1, the Leopards would have, based on tiebreakers, slipped into the second spot.
Boston University is picked for first with 70 points and 10 first place votes, American is second with 64 points and 4 first place votes, Lafayette is third with 50 votes, Bucknell is fourth with 44 points Lehigh is fifth with 30 points, Holy Cross is sixth with 22 points and Colgate is seventh with 14 points. In my experience Lafayette has NEVER been picked first in a preseason poll even when they had back to back championships several years ago.
Junior Noor Coenen from American was named offensive player of the year. Other notable observations is that Patriot League teams will need to face Marcia LaPlante for one more year at Holy Cross. who is named to the PL all league team. I can’t argue these picks. Even though Boston only has two preseason all league picks, Kiley Gallagher and Ailsa Connolly on the all league team, they are picked for first, American has three, Coenen ,Jette Dieckmann, and Georgia Davies a Junior, Senior and Sophomore respectively. Davies and Dieckmann were not members of the all league team last year.
Oliva Harris from Bucknell was an all league selection last year and is now in the preseason all league team as GK. Taylor Cassamassa, a Junior, appears on the list for Colgate and Lenke Havas the junior defender from Lehigh reappears after her all league selection last year.
The predicted order of finish according to this poll with 1) Boston 2) American) 3) Lafayette 4) Bucknell 5) Lehigh 6) Holy Cross 7) Colgate is close to where I would have predicted. My changes would have been Lafayette at least second, and my surprise would be Colgate at 5) therefore making Bucknell and American at 3 and 4.
Of those not named at Lafayette, I expect a big year from Audrey Sawers, and I predict Rookie Simone Hefting will have a major impact as the season progresses. Anna Steps has already demonstrated her skill, and a full season, injury free, will help the Leopards a lot. Also unmentioned was second team all leaguer, Caroline Turnbull who will not lose a step her senior year. I also expect to see Grace Angelella as an important contributor this year, The Leopards will be deep, with help from some returning players who were sidelined with injuries last year, as well as some of the new players. They have a plethora of returning talent who I expect will enhance Lafayette’s chances to reach the post season
We will get a chance to see in five days, at the first intercollegiate scrimmage, how good Lafayette could be!! Go Pards,,, BE THERE!!!