Jan. 23, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Junior Marlee Paton and sophomores Annie Thomas and Sydney Thomas were unanimous selections to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team, while the Loyola University Maryland women’s lacrosse team was picked to finish second in the league’s preseason coaches poll, the conference office announced Wednesday.
Syracuse, the 2012 NCAA runners-up, earned all eight possible first-place votes in the pole, while Loyola garnered one. Coaches could not vote for their own team.
The Greyhounds are coming off their second-straight BIG EAST title and return nine starters from a squad that finished the regular season with a program-best 7-1 BIG EAST record. Loyola then knocked off its highest-ranked opponent under head coach Jen Adams, No. 2 Syracuse, 13-7, in the championship game of the BIG EAST Tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight year.
Paton, an ILWomen Preseason All-American this year, was the 2012 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and an IWLCA first-team All-American. The Seaholme, Australia native had a league-leading 48 points in league play last year and a team-high 90 points in all games.
The Thomas’ are two of three sophomores on the preseason team; Notre Dame’s defender Barbara Sullivan is the other.
Annie Thomas joined Paton on the ILWomen Preseason All-American team this year. The Bel Air, Md., native totaled 69 points, including 38 goals, in her freshman campaign. In addition, she smashed Loyola’s 2-year-old freshman record for assists, dishing out 31 throughout the season.
Sydney Thomas finished her rookie campaign ranking second all-time to Annie Thomas in freshman assists, finishing the year with 19. The native of Medina, Ohio ranked third on the team with 39 points and 20 goals.
The Greyhounds collected 57 points in the poll and one first-place vote, trailing only Syracuse’s 64 points and eight first-place votes. Notre Dame checked in third with 48 points, Georgetown was fourth (44 points) and Rutgers was fifth (36). Connecticut and Louisville tied for sixth with 26 points each, while Villanova (13) and Cincinnati (10) rounded out the poll.
Loyola will open its season on Saturday, Feb. 16, when it hosts Virginia at Ridley Athletic Complex. Opening draw is slated for 1 p.m.