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Lehigh women picked to finish second in Patriot League behind Navy

Thursday, 10th February 2011

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 2/10/11
From Press Releases

The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team was picked second in the Patriot League preseason poll, while senior Lauren Dykstra was named Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, as announced by the league office on Wednesday.

The Mountain Hawks garnered 63 points and four first-place votes, falling only six points shy of defending champion Navy, which led the way with 69. Navy is coached by Haverford High alum Cindy Timchal, who took Maryland to eight national championships before being hired to start the program at Annapolis four years ago,

“Finishing second in preseason voting is very exciting for our team,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern (Ursinus College). “League games bring a special intensity and we are looking forward to facing all of the Patriot League teams over the coming weeks and months.”

The Mountain Hawks are coming off one of their most successful seasons in program history last season, when they finished 14-4. Lehigh won the Patriot League Regular Season Championship behind a 5-1 league mark, earning the right to host the Patriot League Tournament.

Hopes are high for the 2011 season, as seven of Lehigh’s top eight scorers return, led by Dykstra, who has enjoyed one of the most decorated careers in school history. Last year, she earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first student-athlete in league history to win Rookie, Offensive and Defensive laurels during her career. With the addition of a new Midfielder of the Year award, Dykstra could garner her fourth different major award this season.

“Lauren is clearly a very talented offensive player,” said Redfern. “She is also a very humble person who competes exceptionally hard and takes great pride in her team and in representing our league. We are honored to have her recognized.”

Dykstra started all 18 games last season and has started all 52 in her career. She finished with a team-leading 54 goals, 62 points and 47 groundballs, while coming in second with 16 caused turnovers. Dykstra enters her senior season with 185 career goals and 31 assists, making her the second leading goal-scorer in the nation, among active players. With 58 goals this season, she would break the Lehigh career goal-scoring mark, currently 242 held by Jill Altshuler. That would also put her among top 10 goal-scorers in NCAA history.

The native of Mendham, N.J. has impressed in all facets of the game. Her 174 career ground balls lead the nation, while 111 draw controls and 52 caused turnovers are among the best as well. She earned numerous honors following last second, including being named a Second Team All-American by Dykstra has been an All-Patriot League Selection all three years and looks to become Lehigh’s first ever play (and 11th in Patriot league history) to be named All-League for all four years.

Along with Dykstra, Lehigh returns its other five All-Patriot League players from last season, including First-Team All-League members Kelly Draper, Leigh Ann Torcivia and Allison Thomas (Conestoga), along with Second-Team All-League members Julie McBrien and Kenzie Dambach.

The Mountain Hawks play at Princeton in an exhibition game on Sunday before opening the regular season next Saturday at defending MAAC Champion and NCAA qualifier Marist. Also noteworthy is Lehigh’s Apr. 23 game at Navy, which features a rematch of last season’s Patriot League Championship Game. The tilt will air nationally on CBS College Sports.

2011 Patriot League Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll

1.Navy – 69 points (9 first-place votes)
2. LEHIGH – 63 (4)
3. Colgate – 53 (1)
4. American – 37
5. Holy Cross – 36
6. Lafayette – 23
7. Bucknell – 13

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year – Lauren Dykstra, Lehigh, M, Sr.

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year – Amy Martin, Holy Cross, G, Sr.



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