Preseason polls: beasts of the Big East

[BIG EAST WOMEN] Defending national champion Notre Dame and defending conference champion West Virginia were picked as division favorites in the 2011 Big East preseason women’s poll.

The Irish were unanimously chosen to win the National Division, while the Mountaineers had eight first-place votes and sit atop the American Division.
 
Irish senior forward Melissa Henderson was named Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors for the third straight season.

West Virginia, which won its  second tournament crown last year, returns junior Bri Rodriguez, a preseason All-Conference selection, and all four backline starters in 2011.
 
Marquette was narrowly picked second in the American Division behind West Virginia, earning five first-place votes. The Golden Eagles are coming off their first unbeaten and untied conference season in program history and return Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year Natalie Kulla and Preseason co-Defensive Player of the Year Kerry McBride.

2011 Big East Women's Poll
American (First-Place Votes), Points
1. West Virginia (8) 110
2. Marquette (5) 108
3. Connecticut (3) 98
4. USF 76
5. Providence 51
6. St. John’s 50
7. Syracuse 38
8. Pittsburgh 37
 
National (First-Place Votes), Points
1. Notre Dame (15) 120
2. Georgetown (1) 103
3. Rutgers 91
4. Louisville 73
5. Villanova 67
6. DePaul 54
7. Cincinnati 30
7. Seton Hall 30

2011 All-Big East Women's Preseason Awards
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
*Melissa Henderson, Sr., F, Notre Dame
Preseason Defensive Players of the Year
Kerry McBride, Sr., D, Marquette
Jessica Schuveiller, Sr., D, Notre Dame
Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Natalie Kulla, Sr., Marquette

2011 All-Big East Women's Preseason Team
Player, Yr., Pos., School
Kelly D’Ambrisi, Sr., M, Georgetown
Christine Exeter, So., F, Louisville
Jonelle Filigno, R-So., F, Rutgers
*Melissa Henderson, Sr., F, Notre Dame
Chelsea Klotz, Sr., F, USF
Natalie Kulla, Sr., GK, Marquette
Kerry McBride, Sr., D, Marquette
Bri Rodriguez, Jr., M, West Virginia
Katie Ryan, Sr., F, Villanova
Jessica Schuveiller, Sr., D, Notre Dame
Ingrid Wells, R-Sr., M, Georgetown

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