The Liberty lacrosse team took a preseason trip to Seabrook Island, S.C., to prepare for the upcoming season.
The Liberty women's lacrosse team has been tabbed to finish fourth in the Big South Conference women's lacrosse preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches.
Additionally, sophomore attacker Kayla Foster and sophomore midfielder Brianna McCaffrey were both named to the Big South's preseason all-conference team.
Foster, the 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year and VaSID Rookie of the Year, tallied 22 goals, 29 assists (first on team) and a team-best 51 points in her rookie campaign. Foster wrapped up the 2016 season on a high note, scoring six goals and dishing out 12 assists in the final four contests. The Sewickley, Pa., native was also selected to the Big South All-Conference second team and VaSID All-State second team while being named to the Inside Women's Lacrosse All-Rookie team.
McCaffrey, a Big South All-Conference second team selection as a freshman, competed in all 18 contests for the Lady Flames, tallying 13 goals, three assists and 16 points. The Boca Raton, Fla., native won a team-high 42 draw controls while scooping up 24 ground balls and causing 16 turnovers. She closed the season strong, scoring nine goals over the team's final seven games.
The Flames garnered one second-place vote in the poll and 40 total points. High Point, the runner-up to Winthrop at the 2016 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship, received six first-place votes and was picked to finish first in the league (62 points). Winthrop followed closely behind with the remaining two first-place votes and 55 points, followed by Campbell (47 points).
Longwood (36 points), Presbyterian (18 points), Radford (18 points) and Gardner-Webb (12 points) rounded out the poll.
In 2016, Liberty finished fifth in the Big South with a 4-4 mark in conference play. League victories came at home against Longwood (11-10), Gardner-Webb (16-10), at Radford (20-4) and against Presbyterian (21-6) on Senior Day.
Liberty Head Lacrosse Coach Kelly Nangle's squad is comprised of eight freshmen, 10 sophomores, three juniors and seven seniors. Redshirt senior Melanie Via, a Big South Conference honorable mention in 2016, and redshirt junior Faith Wells will serve as captains for the Lady Flames.
Liberty opens its 2017 slate at Notre Dame on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. The Irish closed 2016 with a 13-6 mark and No. 7 ranking in the Inside Lacrosse Poll. The Lady Flames begin Big South play on April 1 at Presbyterian at noon.
The 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship will be held on April 29, May 5 and May 7.
2017 Big South Conference Women's Lacrosse Poll Team (first-place votes) Total Points 1. High Point (6) 62 2. Winthrop (2) 55 3. Campbell 47 4. Liberty 40 5. Longwood 36 T-6. Presbyterian 18 T-6. Radford 18 8. Gardner-Webb 12
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM ATT Samantha Brown, Sr., High Point ATT Kayla Foster, Soph., Liberty ATT Kristen Shriver, Jr., Winthrop MF Erica Perrotta, Jr., High Point MF Amanda Steinmuller, Jr., Gardner-Webb MF Madison Stair, Jr., Longwood MF Brianna McCaffrey, Soph., Liberty MF Melissa Placek, Campbell D Erin O'Hara, Sr., Campbell D Maura Talvacchia, Sr., Presbyterian D Paige Jenkins, Sr., Winthrop GK Alaina Girani, Jr., Winthrop AL Kayla Reilly, Jr., Campbell AL Samantha Herman, Soph., High Point AL Callie Bonnel, Soph., Radford
PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Samantha Brown, Sr., High Point
PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Erin O'Hara, Sr., Campbell
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