WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's lacrosse squad will open the 2018 season on Saturday against the Saint Joseph’s University Hawks. The opening draw is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Cooper Field.
Georgetown returns 20 letter winners from a season ago. The Hoyas finished the 2017 season with a mark of 9-9 overall and 7-2 in conference play, which earned a BIG EAST Championship berth. The squad graduated four seniors, but returns its top three scorers in 2018.
Junior midfielder Francesca Whitehurst (Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country School) was named Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American Honorable Mention on Tuesday. She was also a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team for the second-consecutive season when the league announced its preseason awards last month. 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.
Whitehurst 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.
Also returning is junior attacker Morgan Ryan (Maplewood, N.J./Oak Knoll School) who was GU’s other Preseason 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.
Cheney appeared in 11 games with five starts in 2017 and is in her second year as team captain. She had three goals and one assist for four points on the year to go along with one ground ball and one caused turnover. Cheney was the winner of the 2017 Kim Simons Coaches' Award for the player who best demonstrates the qualities of coachability, positive attitude and leadership. Following the season, she earned a spot on the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Academic Honor Roll.
Seibel appeared in all 18 games with seven starts to her credit, earning Second Team All-BIG EAST honors. She was fifth on the team in scoring with 17 goals and 11 assists for 28 points. Seibel also tallied 25 draw controls and 16 caused turnovers on the defensive end of the field. In her career, she has 32 goals and 19 assists for 51 points.
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.
Saint Joseph’s returns 24 Hawks from a squad that is coming off of a program-record, 11-win season, which was capped by a run at the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament. The Hawks have been predicted to finish tied for third, with George Mason, in the conference in this year’s A-10 preseason poll. SJU returns three All-Conference selections from last season in First Team defender Kelbon, Second-Team midfielder Lane, and All-Rookie midfielder Julia Pash.
The Hoyas are 3-0 all-time against the Hawks and 1-0 at home. The last meeting was a 19-1 GU victory during the 1995 season. The previous season was the lone home meeting between the squads where the Blue & Gray came away with the 19-9 win.
The opening draw is scheduled for 3 p.m., and live stats as well as a webcast featuring Monika Moore will be available through www.GUHoyas.com.