PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers has been picked sixth in the 2004 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Women’s Soccer Poll, and rising senior Carli Lloyd (Delran, NJ) has earned a third consecutive nod to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, the conference office has announced.
Rutgers received 76 points to finish sixth in the preseason coaches poll. Notre Dame was first with 118 points and nine first-place votes, followed by 2003 national runner-up Connecticut (112, three first-place votes). West Virginia, an NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen team in 2003, was third (98), followed by 2003 BIG EAST Tournament finalists Boston College and Villanova (86 each).
Syracuse (50) was seventh, followed by St. John’s (49), Georgetown (41), Seton Hall (33), Pittsburgh (23) and Providence (20). This will mark the first time since 1998 that BIG EAST women’s soccer play will not be divided into two divisions. Each team will play 10 of the 11 other BIG EAST schools during regular-season action, with the top eight overall finishers advancing to the 2004 BIG EAST Tournament.
Lloyd led RU with 28 points (13 G, 2 A) last fall, earning third-team All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) and Soccerbuzz. A first-team all-BIG EAST Conference selection for three straight years, she received a spot on both the 2003 NSCAA and Soccerbuzz Mid-Atlantic Region All-First Teams. Lloyd just returned from Iceland, where she helped lead the U.S. Under-21 National Team to its sixth straight Nordic Cup title. She also trained with the full National Team this spring, attending training sessions April 21, May 11-15 and May 24-June 4.
The Rutgers women’s soccer team (10-7-5, 3-2-1 BIG EAST) advanced to the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament and the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament.
2004 BIG EAST Preseason Women’s Soccer Coaches Poll
1. Notre Dame (9) 118
2. Connecticut (3) 112
3. West Virginia 98
4. Boston College 86
6. Rutgers 76
7. Syracuse 50
8. St. John’s 49
9. Georgetown 41
10. Seton Hall 33
11. Pittsburgh 23
12. Providence 20
( ) indicates first-place votes
BIG EAST Preseason Awards
Offensive Player of the Year: Kristen Graczyk, Connecticut, Sr., F
Defensive Player of the Year: Melissa Tancredi, Notre Dame, Sr., D
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kate Taylor, Boston College, Jr., GK
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team:
Michelle Biehl, Villanova, Sr., D
Jen Buczkowski, Notre Dame, So., F
Jessica Gjertsen, Connecticut, Sr., M/F
Kristen Graczyk, Connecticut, Sr., F
Laura Kane, West Virginia, Sr., F
Carli Lloyd, Rutgers, Sr., M
Katie McGregor, Boston College, Jr., F
Kaitlin Schmidt, St. John’s, Jr., M/F
Meghan Schnur, Connecticut, So., M/F
Melissa Tancredi, Notre Dame, Sr., D
Kate Taylor, Boston College, Jr., GK