RICHMOND, Va. – The Colonial Athletic Association released its 2016 women’s lacrosse preseason poll and team today, Jan. 20. Elon earned 13 points and was voted to finish fifth in the league this season, while three Phoenix players – Stephanie Asher, Rachel Ramirez and Sloane Kessler – all received preseason honors. Asher and Ramirez were both selected by the league’s head coaches to the Preseason All-CAA Team, while Kessler earned honorable mention.
Asher, the only underclassman on the preseason team, recorded 44 goals and 10 assists on the season last year, leading the conference with 2.75 goals per game. The sophomore also led the team with 34 draw controls. She was named the 2015 CAA Rookie of the Year after earning CAA Rookie of the Week honors three times over the course of the season. The Glenelg, Md., native was also selected to the All-CAA Second Team and the CAA All-Rookie Team.
Ramirez, the lone goalie selection on the preseason team, led the league with 143 saves and 8.94 saves per game last season. The junior’s 53 ground balls on the year ranked fifth in the NCAA and was also first in the CAA. The Lindenhurst, N.Y., native was named to All-CAA Second Team in 2015 after earning all-conference honors in the Atlantic Sun her freshman year.
Kessler led the team with 21 assists in 2015 and was third in the CAA with 1.31 assists per game. The junior also scored 17 goals on the season to go along with 23 ground balls. The Owings Mill, Md., native was named the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year in 2014 and also earned all-conference honors.
James Madison, the 2015 CAA Champion, was selected as the preseason favorite and received five first-place votes in the CAA preseason coaches’ poll. Last year’s championship runner-up Towson is second followed by Delaware in third and defending regular-season champion Hofstra in fourth. Rounding out the poll behind Elon in the sixth and seventh spots are William & Mary and Drexel, respectively.
The Dukes’ Jaci Gordon was picked by the coaches as the 2016 CAA Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Player of the Year.
Elon opens the 2016 season at Rudd Field against San Diego State on Friday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. The 2016 CAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship, which features the top four teams from the regular season, is set for May 6 – 8 and will be hosted by Drexel in Philadelphia.
2016 CAA Women’s Lacrosse Predicted Order of Finish
1. James Madison – 35 (5)
2. Towson – 28 (1)
3. Delaware – 26 (1)
4. Hofstra – 25
5. Elon – 13
6. William & Mary – 11
7. Drexel – 9
2016 Women’s Lacrosse Preseason All-CAA Team
Player – School – Pos. – Cl. – Hometown
Bestsy Angel – James Madison – A – Sr. – Baltimore, Md.
Casey Lyons – Delaware – A – Sr. – Middletown, Md.
Tiana Parrella – Hofstra – A – Jr. – Miller Place, N.Y.
Jamie Schwartz – Delaware – A – Jr. – Ellicott City, Md.
Stephanie Asher – Elon – MF – So. – Glenelg, Md.
Jaci Gordon – James Madison – MF – Sr. – Groton, Mass.
Taylor Gress – James Madison – MF – Sr. – Westminster, Mass.
Breanna Hamm – Towson – MF – Sr. – Marydel, Md.
Abby Junior – William & Mary – D – Sr. – Wayne, Pa.
Shelby Milne – Hofstra – D – Sr. – Camullus, N.Y.
Emily Roth – Towson – D – Sr. – Millersville, Md.
Erin Wein – Delaware – D – Sr. – Middletown, Md.
Rachel Ramirez – Elon – GK – Jr. – Lindenhurst, N.Y.
Honorable Mention (Multiple Votes): Shannon Hawley (A – Delaware), Sloane Kessler (A – Elon), Lindsey Alfano (MF – Hofstra), Kara Dattellas (MF – Delaware), Brooks Lawler (MF – James Madison)
CAA Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Player of the Year: Jaci Gordon (MF – James Madison)