WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's lacrosse team was picked to finish third in the BIG EAST Conference by the league's coaches in the 2018 preseason poll released Friday. Additionally, junior midfielder Francesca Whitehurst (Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country School) was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team for the second-consecutive season, and junior attacker Morgan Ryan (Maplewood, N.J./Oak Knoll School) also earned a spot on the preseason listing.
Whitehurst, named a 2018 team captain, was the 2017 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and a First Team All-BIG EAST honoree as well as an IWLCA Second Team All-South Region selection. She was third on the team in points with 47 on 28 goals and a squad-best 19 assists. The midfielder also pulled in 73 draw controls to rank first on the team and was second with 17 caused turnovers. She sits at No. 15 on the all-time list for career draw controls (92) and is fifth in the season ranking with 73 in 2017. As a freshman, she was a Second Team All-BIG EAST honoree.
Ryan was named First Team All-BIG EAST as a sophomore. She tied for team lead in scoring with 48 points on 34 goals and 14 assists which ranked her second on the squad in helpers. She also tallied 16 draw controls, 19 ground balls and had five caused turnovers. Ryan was named the BIG EAST Attacker of the Week on April 25 after leading the Blue & Gray with four goals in the victory over then-No. 13/13 Denver. This is her first nod to the preseason squad.
Georgetown earned 62 points from the league's 10 head coaches to sit third behind reigning BIG EAST women’s lacrosse champion Florida with 81 points and nine first place votes. The 2017 BIG EAST Championship runner-up University of Denver was selected second with 73 points. Temple claimed fourth with 56 points, followed by Connecticut in fifth with 49. Marquette (sixth, 37), Vanderbilt (sixth, 37), Villanova (eighth, 27), Cincinnati (ninth, 19) and Butler (tenth, 9) rounded out the poll. The Pioneers claimed the final available first place vote.
The Blue & Gray finished the 2017 season with a record of 9-9 and advanced to the BIG EAST Semifinal. Georgetown lost four seniors to graduation, but returns its top six scorers in 2018.
Georgetown will start off 2018 hosting Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 10. The team will face three squads that finished 2017 ranked in the top 20 nationally as well as four NCAA Tournament qualifiers.