MACON, Ga. – The Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse team heads into the 2014 season with high expectations. For the second year in a row, the Fins have been unanimously chosen as the Atlantic Sun favorite in the preseason coaches’ poll with two players tabbed as players of the year.
A perfect 6-for-6 in first-place votes, the Dolphins are predicted to finish in the No. 1 spot in the A-Sun. After sweeping conference play last year with a 4-0 record, the Fins are excited to improve upon a memorable 2013 that saw the team earn a NCAA Tournament bid.
Six upperclassmen garnered a spot on the All-Conference Team including Taylor McCord and Kaylee Quint who respectively earned Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
McCord spearheaded JU’s high-powered offense. Starting in 14 games with 18 appearances on the year, she recorded 32 goals including two game winners and a team-high 28 assists (ranked No.1 in A-Sun) for 60 points. Unanimously chosen for the conference team, Quint started in all 19 games last season and was key to the Fin’s transition game. She recorded 30 groundballs, 10 draw controls and caused 13 turnovers.
With half of the preseason roster coming from the Green and Gold, attackers Morgan Derner and Ali Hoffman and middies Brit Orashen and Chelsea Watts also received accolades.
Derner was also instrumental in directing Jacksonville’s offense. She finished second on the team and sixth in the conference in goals with 34 goals. Highly accurate on free position shots, she scored on 11-of-13 opportunities given.
Hoffman tallied 21 goals and 23 assists (ranked second in the A-Sun) for 44 points. Second on the team in scooped groundballs, she collected 38 for the Fins.
Leading the team in groundballs and placing second in draw controls, Orashen collected 47 and 45, respectively. Solid on defense, she also finished second on the team in caused turnovers with 26 (ranked fourth in the A-Sun).
Watts played in all 19 games last year to record three goals and an assist. Another vital JU defender, she ranked first on the team and second in the league in caused turnovers with 29.
New to the JU roster are senior midfielder Ali Brennan and freshman attacker Danielle Della Rocca who were selected for the A-Sun’s Newcomer Watch List.
JU kicks off the season against No. 3 ranked Syracuse on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The Orange will pay a visit to Southern Oak Stadium for a 5:30 p.m. contest.
Preseason All-Conference Team
*A Cynithia Smalls Howard Sr.*D Kaylee Quint Jacksonville Sr.
* Unanimous Choice
2014Preseason Lacrosse Coaches Poll
1. Jacksonville (6) 362. Detroit 28