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Comerford tabbed Preseason All-BIG EAST
Sophomore Attack Katie Comerford
Jan. 26, 2018

VILLANOVA, PA. – Sophomore attack Katie Comerford has been selected to the All-BIG EAST Preseason team. The Yorktown Heights native is coming off of one of the best freshman campaigns in Wildcats’ Women’s Lacrosse history, being the first to ever earn BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honors. Her 40 goals, 16 assists and 56 points were all team-highs for Villanova last season.

Villanova has been picked to finish eighth in the conference, receiving 27 points in the annual coaches’ poll. The Wildcats went 4-12 overall and 2-7 in BIG EAST play last season. Their 2-7 record placed them at eighth in the conference. Graduating six student-athletes, the Wildcats return 25 letterwinners and add 11 newcomers to the roster for the 2018 season.

Florida received nine out of 10 first place votes with Denver receiving the sole other vote. The three-time defending champion Gators received 81 points in the poll to retain first place. Denver’s 73 points was the next closest. Florida also swept the Preseason individual awards with junior attack Lindsey Ronbeck taking BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and junior goalkeeper Haley Hicklen receiving Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. The Gators had a conference-high six players voted to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team.

Connecticut, Denver and Georgetown all had two players voted to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team with Marquette, Temple, Vanderbilt and Villanova rounding out the team with one player each. There was one extra player added due to a tie in the voting. Unanimous selections included:



Grace Gabriel, Marquette, Jr., Midfield

Haley Hicklen, Florida, Jr., Goalkeeper

Kendra Lanuza, Denver, Jr., Attack

Nicole Latgis, Temple, Sr., Defense

Grace Nolan, Connecticut, Sr., Attack

Sydney Pirreca, Florida, Jr., Midfield

Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, Jr., Attack

Francesca Whitehurst, Georgetown, Jr., Midfield

The BIG EAST schedule includes 10 teams that play nine conference games each. The 2018 BIG EAST Championship will be hosted by Florida in Gainesville, playing the semi-finals on May 3rd and the championship on May 5th. The top four teams in the conference will compete for the title.

Villanova opens up their season on February 17th at Cornell at 1 p.m.

The full Preseason coaches’ poll and Preseason All-BIG EAST team can be found below:

BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches’ Poll

  1. Florida (9)        81
  2. Denver (1)        73
  3. Georgetown     62
  4. Temple             56
  5. Connecticut     49
  6. Vanderbilt        37

         Marquette        37

  1. Villanova          27
  2. Cincinnati        19
  3. Butler                9


BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, Jr., A


BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Haley Hicklen, Florida, Jr., GK


Preseason All-BIG EAST^

Julia Blaze, Vanderbilt, Jr., M

Katie Comerford, Villanova, So., A

Cassie Ekstrom, Connecticut, Sr., D

Julia Feiss, Denver, Jr., A

Grace Gabriel, Marquette, Jr., M*

Haley Hicklen, Florida, Jr., GK*

Kendra Lanuza, Denver, Jr., A*

Nicole Latgis, Temple, Sr., D*

Grace Nolan, Connecticut, Sr., A*

Allie Pavinelli, Florida, Sr., M

Shayna Pirreca, Florida, Sr., A

Sydney Pirreca, Florida, Jr., M*

Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, Jr., A*

Morgan Ryan, Georgetown, Jr., A

Cara Trombetta, Florida, So., D

Francesca Whitehurst, Georgetown, Jr., M*


*unanimous selection

^extra player added due to a tie in voting