DURHAM, N.C. – The ACC released its Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll Tuesday, with Duke picked to finish fourth in the conference. In addition, senior defender Taylor Virden and sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea, both All-America selections a season ago, were named to the Preseason All-ACC Team.
2013 NCAA champion North Carolina was selected the preseason favorite in the poll of the conference’s eight head coaches, receiving four first-place votes and 60 points, while Maryland, last year’s ACC champion and NCAA runner-up, was voted second with two-first place votes and 54 points. Conference newcomer Syracuse was selected third, receiving two first-place votes and 53 points, and the Blue Devils were picked fourth with 34 points.
Virginia (29), Notre Dame (27), Boston College (23) and Virginia Tech (8) rounded out the preseason poll.
The preseason ACC voting aligned with the top spots in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll released Monday, as North Carolina was voted first, Maryland second and Syracuse third. Duke came in at sixth in the initial national rankings.
Duryea and Virden were among 11 returning All-Americans to be named to the Preseason All-ACC Team, with Virden garnering first team All-America accolades and Duryea second team honors a year ago. Both players were also IWLCA All-South Region and All-ACC selections in 2013.
Duryea concluded her rookie campaign with a 10-5 record between the pipes, in addition to ranking fourth nationally in save percentage. The Beverly, Mass., native also led the ACC in saves per game, save percentage and ground balls per game a season ago.
One of the Blue Devils’ most experienced defenders, Virden recorded 32 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers last spring. She also paced the Blue Devils in draw controls in 2013, totaling 54 as a junior to move into sixth place on the program’s all-time career chart with 122 in three seasons.
Head coach Kerstin Kimel’s squad kicks off the 2014 campaign Friday, Feb. 7, hosting in-state opponent Elon at 3 p.m. from Koskinen Stadium.
2014 ACC Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll
|1||North Carolina (4 first place votes, 60 points)|
|2||Maryland (2 first place votes, 54 points)|
|3||Syracuse (2 first place votes, 53 points)|
|6||Notre Dame (27)|
|7||Boston College (23)|
|8||Virginia Tech (8)|
2014 Preseason All-ACC Team
Abbey Friend, Sr., A, North Carolina
Brooke Griffin, R-Jr., A, Maryland
Kayla Treanor, So., A, Syracuse
Taylor Cummings, So., M, Maryland
Kelly McPartland, Jr., M, Maryland
Mikaela Rix, Jr., M, Boston College
Sloane Serpe, Sr., D, North Carolina
Barbara Sullivan, Jr., D, Notre Dame
Taylor Virden, Sr., D, Duke
Casey Bocklet, Jr., A, Virginia
Alyssa Murray, Sr., A, Syracuse
Covie Stanwick, Jr., A, Boston College
Kelsey Duryea, So., GK, Duke