Patriot League Preseason Lacrosse Poll and All-Patriot Team

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Loyola University Maryland will play its first season in Patriot League women's lacrosse as a prohibitive favorite after overtaking four-time defending champion Navy in the sport's preseason poll announced on Thursday.

The Greyhounds captured 15 of a possible 16 first-place votes and 127 points overall to earn the top spot, with the Mids second with 113 points and three first-place votes. Loyola's fellow newcomer, Boston University, took third with 94 points followed by Holy Cross (76), American (72), Lafayette (61), Colgate (47), Lehigh (38) and Bucknell (20).

Loyola also dominated the Preseason All-Patriot League Team with five selections, including senior midfielder Marlee Paton as the Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Junior attackers Hannah Schmitt and Annie Thomas, junior midfielder Taryn VanThof and sophomore defender Maddy Lesher joined Paton on the Preseason All-League squad for the Greyhounds.

Navy had a pair of juniors make the Preseason All-Patriot League squad in attacker Loren Generi and goalkeeper Annie Foky, who also was named the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Lafayette was the only other team with multiple honorees as senior midfielder Ana White and senior defender Rachel Martin made the team, while the rest of the squad consisted of American senior midfielder Emily Maher, Holy Cross senior defender Corinne Caracausa and Colgate junior defender Jenna Frost.

Each of the 12 student-athletes earned a postseason honor last season, with Generi, Maher, White, Frost and Foky as first-team All-Patriot League selections while Caracausa and Martin made the second team. Paton and VanThof earned first-team honors in the Big East with Thomas, Schmitt and Lesher on the second team.

The voting for both the preseason poll and All-Patriot League Team was conducted by women's lacrosse head coaches and sports information directors, who were not permitted to vote for their own team or student-athletes.

Loyola has a long line of success that includes 10 conference tournament titles and 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips in each of the last three years under sixth-year Head Coach Jen Adams. Paton was the team's leading scorer last season with 39 goals and 25 assists, and the top four scorers from 2013 are all back with Thomas (26 G, 27 A), VanThof (28 G, 18A) and Schmitt (33 G, 6 A). Paton and VanThof went on to earn IWLCA All-America honors in addition to their conference accolades. Lesher leads the defense, while Molly Wolf returns in goal after putting up a 10.18 goals against average while starting all 20 games last year. Loyola advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and finished with an 11-9 record.

Navy will not be willing to give up its crown easily, as the Mids won their fourth-straight Patriot League title and also earned the first NCAA Tournament win for a League squad last season. Navy faces the task of replacing three-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Jasmine DePompeo, who graduated as the League's all-time leader in points (336) and assists (167). DePompeo is one of three All-League selections to depart from last year, but a pair of first-teamers are back in Generi (62 G, 13 A) and Foky (7.13 GAA), who was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. Aimee Gennaro (64 G, 16 A) joins Generi on attack and is already 10th in League history with 169 career goals. The Mids have won 18 straight games against Patriot League opponents, a streak that began in the 2011 League Tournament.

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