Feb. 4, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame women's lacrosse defender Barbara Sullivan was named on Tuesday to the single preseason All-ACC team in a vote of the league's coaches. A first-team All-American in 2013, the Irish captain will help lead her team into one of the nation's toughest conferences for any sport this fall. Reflecting the strength of the ACC, the Fighting Irish, ranked No. 11 in the nation, are ranked sixth in the preseason ACC poll.
Sullivan is amongst good company on the preseason All-ACC team. The 13-member squad features 11 returning All-Americans, including six first-team selections. Sullivan ranked second in the nation last spring scooping up 3.35 ground balls per game. Her 2.00 caused turnovers per game ranked ninth in the nation and Sullivan's 3.94 draw controls per game ranked 20th nationally. Sullivan's 67 draw controls last spring set a single-season Notre Dame record. Led by Sullivan, the 2013 Fighting Irish defense ranked third in the nation in caused turnovers and fifth in ground balls.
The coaches' poll saw defending national champion North Carolina emerge as the preseason favorite with four out of the eight first place votes and 60 points. Maryland (two first place votes) and Syracuse (two first place votes) round out the top three. All three of those teams participated in the 2013 NCAA final four. Duke, ranked No. 6 in the nation, is tabbed for fourth in the ACC. Virginia, No. 8 in the country, is slated fifth with Notre Dame sixth, Boston College seventh and Virginia Tech eighth. Each of the top seven teams in the league is ranked in the preseason Top 20 nationally as BC checked into the IWLCA's preseason poll at No. 20.
The Irish return 17 monogram winners from the 2013 team that went 12-5, qualified for the NCAAs and was ranked as high as No. 5 during the season. The 2014 season gets underway for Notre Dame with a home scrimmage against Michigan on Feb. 8 at 7:45 p.m. For season ticket information, logon to UND.com or call (574) 631-7356.
PRESEASON ACC COACHES POLL
1. North Carolina (four first place votes, 60 points)
2. Maryland (two first place votes, 54 points)
3. Syracuse (two first place votes, 53 points)
4. Duke (34)
5. Virginia (29)
6. NOTRE DAME (27)
7. Boston College (23)
8. Virginia Tech (8)
PRESEASON ALL-ACC TEAM