CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team was picked to finish 10th in the 2014-15 preseason poll, as released by the Patriot League Wednesday.
The Greyhounds collected 34 points, only five shy of Boston University, which sits ninth in the poll. The United States Military Academy, the 2013-14 Patriot League Tournament Champion, picked up 159 points including 16 first-place votes, to edge American University (132 points, one first place) out of the top spot. Bucknell University and College of the Holy Cross tied for third with 123 votes, with the Bison collecting two first-place votes. Lehigh University came in fifth with 88 points, while the reigning 2013-14 regular season champion, the United States Naval Academy, collected 85 points and the final first-place tally. Lafayette College was seventh with 70 points and Colgate University came in eighth with 47 points.
The Greyhounds return six players from last season's squad, including Lisa Mirarchi and Nai Brown who earned Patriot League All-Rookie and Third Team honors, respectively. Mirarchi, playing 1,084 minutes in 30 games last year, logged more time on the court than any other rookie in program history. Averaging 36.13 minutes per game, the West Chester, Pennsylvania, native passed one of Loyola's all-time greatest players, Patty Stoffey, at the top of the charts. Stoffey averaged 35.4 minutes per game during her freshman campaign in 1991-92.
Brown, a native of Newark, Delaware, led the team in points a year ago, averaging 14.6 points per game. She scored 20-plus points on six occasions, including a career-best 28 against Boston University on January 19.
Five newcomers, featuring one transfer and four freshmen, will look to make their debuts in green and grey when Loyola opens its season at William and Mary on Friday, Nov. 14.
2014-15 Patriot League Preseason Poll
1. Army 159 (16 first-place votes)
2. American 132 (1)
3. (tie) Bucknell 123 (2)
Holy Cross 123
5. Lehigh 88
6. Navy 85
7. Lafayette 70
8. Colgate 47
9. Boston University 39
10. Loyola 34