ATLANTA, Ga. - The defending ASUN Champion Jacksonville Dolphins were voted the 2019 ASUN Women's Lacrosse preseason favorites after receiving 45 total points in this year's coaches poll. Kennesaw State's Siena Gore garnered Preseason Player of the Year recognition, while there was a three-way tie for Defensive Player of the Year. Erica Beal of Jacksonville, Maura Palandro of Kennesaw State and Brianna McCaffrey from Liberty earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Jacksonville, the defending regular season and tournament champions, received three first-place votes and 45 total points to edge out ASUN runner-up, Coastal Carolina, who also garnered three first-place votes, but a total of 43 points. The Dolphins and Chanticleers met in the ASUN Championship Final last season with the Dolphins winning by a score of 25-19.
Gore was voted the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year after being named Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Conference in 2018. Gore led the ASUN in goals with 70, which also ranked 11th nationally. She also helped the Owls to an appearance in the ASUN Championship, where she tallied three goals in a semifinal defeat to Coastal Carolina.
There was a three-way tie for Defensive Player of the Year, as JU's Erica Beal, KSU's Maura Palandro and Liberty's Brianna McCaffrey all shared the honor. Beal was a key cog in JU's defense last season, which ranked first in the ASUN in goals against average (GAA), caused turnovers, draw controls, ground balls and second in total goals against.
Palandro made KSU history last season, as she became the first defender in program history to earn First Team All-Conference honors, while starting in all 18 games. McCaffrey was named First Team All-Conference in the Big South last year. She ranked fourth in the nation in caused turnovers per game with 2.82 and helped the Flames to a 13-5 record on the year.
Read more on the ASUN Preseason All-Conference team as voted on by the league coaches.
ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team
Harley Barrett*, Coastal Carolina, Goalie: Led the league in save percentage (47.3%), saves (176) and was third in the league in GAA (11.18). Her nine wins were second most in the league. She upped her game in ASUN play going 3-1 with a 52.7% save percentage and a GAA of 9.41, which was tops in the league.
Megan Kilpatrick*, Coastal Carolina, Defense: Kilpatrick was one of the leaders on a strong defensive unit for the Chanticleers last season. She tied for third on the team in ground balls with 27 and ranked fourth in caused turnovers with 13. She helped Coastal surrender just 206 goals in 2018, which was the best mark in the league. The Chanticleers also boasted the second best GAA as a team with a mark of 10.74.
Erica Beal*, Jacksonville, Defense: A Second Team All-Conference member in 2018, Beal helped Jacksonville to its second-straight ASUN title and fifth in the last six years. Beal was also named to the All-Tournament team for the second straight season. She totaled 23 ground balls and ranked third on the team in caused turnovers with 19.
Maura Palandro, Kennesaw State, Defense: Palandro became the first Kennesaw State defender to be named First Team All-Conference in 2018. She started in every game, and led the team in ground balls with 46 and was just one of five Owls to record double-digit caused turnovers with 13.
Lillie Miller*, Jacksonville, Midfielder: Miller, a First Team All-Conference performer in 2018, had a fantastic junior season. She set a career-high in points with 51, good for fourth on the Dolphins and ninth in the ASUN. Miller sat fourth on JU with 35 goals and in the NCAA Tourament against Colorado, she netted a hat trick and matched a career best with five draw controls.
Haley Kyger, Coastal Carolina, Midfielder: Kyger saw action in all 19 games for Coastal in 2018, while starting in 18 of them. She was named captain and was a First Team All-Conference and All-Academic team selection. She was second on the squad with 66 points (43 goals/23 assists). Last season, Kyger tied the Coastal single-game record for goals scored with eight against Mercer.
Siena Gore, Kennesaw State, Midfielder: Siena Gore, the unanimous 2018 Freshman of the Year and 2019 Preseason Player of the Year, had a marvelous freshman campaign last spring. Gore set ASUN single-season records for goals (70), draw controls (119), goals per game (3.9) and draw controls per game (6.6). She finished sixth nationally in goals per game and 11th in total goals.
Brianna McCaffrey, Liberty, Midfielder: McCaffrey was a First Team All-Conference in the Big South last season, as she led the team in goals with a career-high 40. McCaffrey ranked fourth nationally in caused turnovers per game with an average of 2.72 for a team in Liberty who led the country in the category with 14.29 per game. She also checked in 20th nationally in ground balls per game at 3.12.
Haley Alexander, Coastal Carolina, Attack: Alexander started in all 19 games for the Chanticleers a season ago, as she tallied 15 multi-goal games, including 10 hat tricks. She led Coastal with 69 points and 51 goals. Alexander was a unanimous First Team All-Conference and All-Academic Team selection in 2018.
Erin McGuire, Jacksonville, Attack: McGuire appeared in all 20 games, while starting in 18 of them for the Dolphins in 2018. She finished third on the team in points with 56, and set season-highs in ground balls with 21. The junior attacker was a Second Team All-Conference selection in 2018.
Kayla Foster, Liberty, Attack: Foster was a Second Team All-Conference selection in the Big South a year ago. She led the team in points, draw controls and assists. In an April 11th contest against Longwood, Foster dished out a program record 10 assists in the Flames win. Her 10 assists were the most by a Division I player in 2018. She also garnered All-Academic team recogintion.
Riley Reagan, Stetson, Attack: Reagan burst onto the scene last year for the Hatters, as she was named Second Team All-Conference and All-Freshmen team. She ended the regular season leading the entire ASUN with 35 assists, which already put her fourth in program history for career assists. Her 53 total points were a Stetson program record and ranked seventh in the ASUN.