Aug. 14, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Junior Molly McGuigan was chosen as the preseason Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and defending champion Army was predicted to finish second in the conference's 2012 women's soccer preseason poll announced Tuesday. The league's eight head coaches and sports information directors participated in the vote which also included the inaugural preseason all-league team.
Colgate, the regular season champion a year ago, was tabbed the preseason favorite in 2012 as the Raiders earned 91 points and nine first-place votes. The Black Knights received 84 points to edge Navy's 81 points for second place, but the Midshipmen received four first-place votes to Army's three.
The Black Knights blanked top seeded Colgate and third-seeded Navy by identical 2-0 scores to capture the 2011 Patriot League Tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 4 seed last November.
Lafayette, the No. 2 seed at the tournament a year ago, followed in fourth place with 60 points followed by the bottom half of the order with Lehigh (49), Bucknell (36), American (33) and Holy Cross (14) rounding out the preseason voting.
Army had a conference-high four players named to the inaugural preseason all-league team in McGuigan, Kim An, Joey Molacek and Madison Oliver. Colgate had three players selected to include preseason Offensive Player of the Year Jillian Kinter, while Navy and Lafayette each had two with a player from American earning one of the 12 spots.
McGuigan, a native of Boulder, Colo., is a two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year having earned this honor her freshman and sophomore years. The 5-9 defender has played a pivotal role in Army ranking among the country's leaders the past two years after compiling 31 shutouts. The Black Knights set a school-record 16 shutouts and led the nation in goals-against average, shutout percentage and save percentage in 2010.
A year ago McGuigan helped backstop Army to 15 shutoutsen route to the team ranking second nationally in shutout percentage, third in save percentage and seventh in goals-against average.
A starter in the defensive end of the field since her arrival, McGuigan and classmate An are two-time first-team all-league picks and two-time all-region selections. An has ranked among the league's leaders the past two years in goals and points, and was the league's top rookie in 2010. Molacek, also a junior, was the MVP of the Patriot League Tournament and was joined on the all-tournament team by Oliver, a sophomore defender, and McGuigan.
The Black Knights open the 2012 season this weekend when they head to New England to take on Vermont of the America East conference Friday followed by Big East member Providence on Sunday.
2012 Patriot League Women's Soccer Preseason Results
1. Colgate - 91 points (9 first-place votes)
2. Army - 84 (3)
3. Navy - 81 (4)
4. Lafayette - 60
5. Lehigh - 49
6. Bucknell - 36
7. American -33
8. Holy Cross -14
Offensive Player of the Year: Jillian Kinter, Colgate, Sr.
Defensive Player of the Year: Molly McGuigan, Army, Jr.