Jan. 20, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Loyola University Maryland senior defender Ana Heneberry has been chosen as the 2012 BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, as voted on by the league’s head coaches and announced Friday by the conference office.
In addition, the Greyhounds – picked to finish third this year – placed four on the All-BIG EAST Preseason team: Heneberry, senior goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff, senior defender Kellye Gallagher and sophomore attacker Marlee Paton.
Loyola received one first-place vote in the preseason coaches poll and was nine points shy of preseason-favorite Georgetown. The Hoyas received five first-place votes and 60 points to edge Syracuse out of the top spot by one point, as the Orange accumulated three first-place votes and 59 points. Loyola was chosen third with 51 points, while Notre Dame (44 points) and Rutgers (34) round out the top five. Connecticut (27) edged Louisville (26) out of sixth by one point, while Villanova (12) earned a one-point advantage over Cincinnati (11) for eighth place.
On the Preseason All-BIG EAST team, Loyola and Georgetown shared the lead with four selections each, while Gallagher, Heneberry and Stoothoff were among only five defenders honored.
That trio returns to lead a Loyola defense that led the league and ranked first nationally in caused turnovers per game (11.75) last year. The Greyhounds also led the league in goals-against average (8.95), while ranking second in the BIG EAST in ground balls per game (18.00) and save percentage (.462).
Between the pipes for the Greyhounds, Stoothoff ranked second in the league in GAA (9.09) and save percentage (.465) last year, en route to four BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors and a second-team all-conference nod. A unanimous selection to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, the Blue Point, N.Y., native is the lone goalkeeper on this year’s preseason team.
Heneberry was also a unanimous selection to the preseason team. A native of Timonium, Md., Heneberry was the only BIG EAST player to be selected to Inside Lacrosse’s Inaugural Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Team this year. Heneberry was a third-team All-American in 2011 and has earned two All-BIG EAST Second Team honors throughout hear career, in addition to dual All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors. Coming into this season, she ranks fourth all-time in program history with 84 caused turnovers.
Gallagher, a defender from Ridley, Pa., helped the Greyhounds lead the nation in caused turnovers for the third-consecutive season last year, topping the team and BIG EAST with 50 caused turnovers. She also had a team-high 59 ground balls last year. An All-BIG EAST Second Team honoree, Gallagher finished the year ranked fifth nationally in caused turnovers per game.
Paton, a second-team all-region and all-conference honoree in just her first season, is among seven midfielders and just three sophomores to be named to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. The native of Seaholme, Australia, scored 38 goals for Loyola, the most for a first-year player since former All-American Grace Gavin totaled the same amount in 2008, and led the league with five game-winning goals. In addition, Paton tacked on 10 assists and ranked third on the team with 35 ground balls.
Loyola will open the 2012 season at Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 18. Opening draw is slated for 2:30 p.m.
Preseason BIG EAST Coaches Poll
1. Georgetown (5) 60
2. Syracuse (3) 59
3. Loyola (1) 51
4. Notre Dame 44
5. Rutgers 34
6. Connecticut 27
7. Louisville 26
8. Villanova 12
9. Cincinnati 11
First-place votes in parentheses
2012 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse, Junior, Attack
2012 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Ana Heneberry, Loyola, Senior, Defense
2012 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Kelly Barnes, Georgetown, Senior, Defense
Becca Block, Syracuse, Junior, Defense
Kaitlyn Brosco, Notre Dame, Sophomore, Midfield
*Kelsi Bozel, Georgetown, Junior, Midfield
Justine Donodeo, Villanova, Senior, Midfield
Kellye Gallagher, Loyola, Senior, Defense
*Ana Heneberry, Loyola, Senior, Defense
Dina Jackson, Georgetown, Junior, Attack
*M.E. Lapham, Connecticut, Senior, Attack
Marlee Paton, Loyola, Sophomore, Midfield
*Ali Steinberg, Rutgers, Senior, Midfield
*Kerry Stoothoff, Loyola, Senior, Goalkeeper
*Maggie Tamasitis, Notre Dame, Senior, Attack
*Sophia Thomas, Georgetown, Junior, Midfield
*Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse, Junior, Attack
*Katie Webster, Syracuse, Sophomore, Midfield