Additionally, sophomore attacker Kayla Foster and sophomore midfielder Brianna McCaffrey were both named to the Big South's preseason all-conference team.
Foster, the 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year and VaSID Rookie of the Year, tallied 22 goals, 29 assists (first on team) and a team-best 51 points in her rookie campaign. Foster wrapped up the 2016 season on a high note, scoring six goals and dishing out 12 assists in the final four contests. The Sewickley, Pa., native was also selected to the Big South All-Conference second team and VaSID All-State second team while being named to the Inside Women's Lacrosse All-Rookie team.
McCaffrey, a Big South All-Conference second team selection as a freshman, competed in all 18 contests for the Lady Flames, tallying 13 goals, three assists and 16 points. The Boca Raton, Fla., native won a team-high 42 draw controls while scooping up 24 ground balls and causing 16 turnovers. She closed the season strong, scoring nine goals over the team's final seven games.
|The Liberty lacrosse team took a preseason trip to Seabrook Island, S.C., to prepare for the upcoming season.|
Longwood (36 points), Presbyterian (18 points), Radford (18 points) and Gardner-Webb (12 points) rounded out the poll.
In 2016, Liberty finished fifth in the Big South with a 4-4 mark in conference play. League victories came at home against Longwood (11-10), Gardner-Webb (16-10), at Radford (20-4) and against Presbyterian (21-6) on Senior Day.
Liberty Head Lacrosse Coach Kelly Nangle's squad is comprised of eight freshmen, 10 sophomores, three juniors and seven seniors. Redshirt senior Melanie Via, a Big South Conference honorable mention in 2016, and redshirt junior Faith Wells will serve as captains for the Lady Flames.
Liberty opens its 2017 slate at Notre Dame on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. The Irish closed 2016 with a 13-6 mark and No. 7 ranking in the Inside Lacrosse Poll. The Lady Flames begin Big South play on April 1 at Presbyterian at noon.
The 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship will be held on April 29, May 5 and May 7.
2017 Big South Conference Women's Lacrosse Poll
Team (first-place votes) Total Points
1. High Point (6) 62
2. Winthrop (2) 55
3. Campbell 47
4. Liberty 40
5. Longwood 36
T-6. Presbyterian 18
T-6. Radford 18
8. Gardner-Webb 12
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
ATT Samantha Brown, Sr., High Point
ATT Kayla Foster, Soph., Liberty
ATT Kristen Shriver, Jr., Winthrop
MF Erica Perrotta, Jr., High Point
MF Amanda Steinmuller, Jr., Gardner-Webb
MF Madison Stair, Jr., Longwood
MF Brianna McCaffrey, Soph., Liberty
MF Melissa Placek, Campbell
D Erin O'Hara, Sr., Campbell
D Maura Talvacchia, Sr., Presbyterian
D Paige Jenkins, Sr., Winthrop
GK Alaina Girani, Jr., Winthrop
AL Kayla Reilly, Jr., Campbell
AL Samantha Herman, Soph., High Point
AL Callie Bonnel, Soph., Radford
PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Samantha Brown, Sr., High Point
PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Erin O'Hara, Sr., Campbell