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2016 Big East women's soccer preview

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: August 17, 2016

Big East

2015 Conference Honors
Offensive Player of the Year: Rachel Daly, St. John's
Midfielder of the Year: Rachel Corboz, Georgetown
Defensive Player of the Year: Georgia Kearney-Perry, St. John's
Goalkeeper of the Year: Diana Poulin, St. John's
Freshman of the Year: Franny Cerny, DePaul
Coaching Staff of the Year: St. John's

St. John's (15-4-1, 7-1-1)

The Red Storm face the prospect of replacing top talents at both ends of the field, as Georgia Kearney-Perry is now a graduate assistant with the program and Rachel Daly is scoring goals for the Houston Dash. Diana Poulin’s return in goal provides experience between the posts, while Lucy Whipp and Anna Maria Baldursdottir are capable of picking up the slack.

DePaul (12-4-4, 6-1-2)

This year’s Big East race should be another wide open one, and the Blue Demons should be in the thick of it throughout the season. Franny Cerny, Alexa Ben and Abby Reed are a trio of players that need to stay healthy in order to keep them in the mix as the season progresses.

Georgetown (11-5-4, 6-1-2)

A glance at the Hoyas roster reveals why they could nudge ahead of the Big East pack. All three of the team’s leading scorers return in 2016: Rachel Corboz, Grace Damaska and Crystal Thomas. Corboz is the engine, the swaggering No. 10 that can unlock opposing defenses. Marina Paul anchors the back line as a graduate student as well, providing plenty of cover. The Hoyas face an intriguing test as the season starts when Stanford visits the Hilltop this weekend to open the season.

Butler (16-7-1, 6-3)

One of a small number of Japanese players competing in Division I college soccer, Serina Kashimoto is reason enough to watch Butler. The graceful and elegant midfielder is technically superb, and helps drive the Bulldogs in the midfield. Halle Stelbasky was a quality option as a freshman, and she’ll need to maintain her level this season for Butler to be fighting near the top of the standings.

Marquette (8-8-4, 5-3-1)

While the Golden Eagles haven’t soared as high in conference play over the past couple of seasons, the seemingly wide-open nature of this year could open the door for them. Led by the talented pair of Morgan Proffitt and Elizabeth Bartels, eight of 11 starters are back for Marquette, which graduated just five seniors from last year’s roster.

Providence (13-8-1, 5-4)

In order to maintain momentum from a promising 2015, Providence has a big question to answer: how to replace Catherine Zimmerman’s production. Her seven goals accounted for a good chunk of her team’s goal-scoring output. Rachel Ugolik is the top scorer among the returning players, and if she can handle more of that load, it bodes well for the Friars.

Xavier (8-9-1, 3-6)

There’s reason for optimism for the Musketeers, which returns its top three scorers from last season in Samantha Dewey, Skylar Groth and Kenadi Carlson. Three of its Big East loses were just by a single goal, something that could lead to a better season if it’s rectified this year.

Creighton (10-10, 2-7)

After getting through a relatively easy non-conference schedule with an 8-3 record last year, Creighton could only musters two wins in Big East play, losing five straight to end the season. Senior Lauren Sullivan remains a crucial figure as the Bluejays look to improve.

Seton Hall (2-14-2, 1-8)

Improving the team’s offense is crucial as the Pirates approach another season. Last year’s squad scored just 13 goals, with no one finishing with more than three on the roster.

Villanova (2-16, 1-8)

A tough schedule lies ahead of the Wildcats, another program looking to battle its way out of the bottom of the Big East. Non-conference games against Minnesota, Princeton and North Carolina are going to be tough for a team that scored just eight goals in the 2015. Improving in that department would go a long way in laying the foundation for a quality season.

Related Topics: Big East
 
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