Jan. 23, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse players Lindsay Powell, Margaret Smith and Barbara Sullivan were selected to the preseason all-BIG EAST team and the Irish were picked to finish third in the league in a vote of the conference's nine head coaches, it was announced Wednesday.
Smith and Sullivan were unanimous preseason all-BIG EAST selections just a year after earning first team IWLCA West/Midwest all-Region honors.
Smith proved to be a disrupter all over the field as she racked up 37 ground balls, 47 draw controls and 31 caused turnovers. She led the team in draw controls and finished second in caused turnovers and ground balls. Smith recorded one or more of each in 14 of the team's 18 games. Smith turned in seven games with three or more ground balls, 13 games with two or more draw controls and eight games with two or more caused turnovers. She earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll three times on the year and was named first team all-BIG EAST.
The Westminster, Md., native also helped the Irish on the offensive end of the field, as she scored goals in seven of the first eight games, including a hat trick in a 17-7 win over Duquesne.
Sullivan turned in an impressive freshman campaign as she helped anchor the Irish defense, leading the team in ground balls (40) and caused turnovers (32), while finishing second in draw controls (32). She started all 18 games, producing 13 games with two or more ground balls, nine games with two or more draw controls and seven games with two or more caused turnovers. As the season progressed the Garden City, N.Y., native became the team's top drawer, often times collecting her own draw. Over the last seven games, she scooped up three or more draw controls five times. Sullivan earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll once during the season and earned second team all-BIG EAST honors.
Powell was named second team all-BIG EAST and all-region a year ago after missing her entire freshman campaign with a knee injury. The sophomore scored 44 goals on the year before going down with a torn left ACL in the week before the BIG EAST Tournament.
The 44 goals moved her into the top 10 in single-season goal scoring in Irish history and put her fourth in the BIG EAST in both goals (44) and goals per game (2.75) during the regular season. The Honeoye, N.Y., product scored three or more goals in 10 contests, including a string of four straight to open the year. She earned her first career spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll during the regular season's final week after scoring six goals and scooping up five draw controls in two games the week before.
The three selections were tied for the second most in the league with Loyola (Md.) and Georgetown. Syracuse led the way with five selections including both the preseason offensive and defensive player of the year selections.
Notre Dame was also picked to finish third in the 2013 preseason poll behind NCAA runner-up Syracuse and BIG EAST champion Loyola (Md.). The Orange received 64 total votes and eight of the nine first place votes, while the Greyhounds took home 57 votes. The Irish claimed 48 votes to finish just ahead of Georgetown, who had 44 votes.
A pair of national polls has also come out recently with their preseason rankings, with the Irish placing in the top 10 in both. Inside Lacrosse has Notre Dame ranked eighth, while Lacrosse Magazine has the squad 10th.
Notre Dame returns 22 student-athletes and welcomes in 10 freshmen from a team that went 13-5 and earned a spot in both the BIG EAST and NCAA Tournaments in head coach Christine Halfpenny's first year in charge in 2012.
2013 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
2013 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
2013 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Team