ATLANTA – The back-to-back reigning ASUN Conference Tournament champions, Jacksonville University, was selected first in the league’s preseason coaches poll, while senior captain Erica Beal earned Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year and two other Dolphins earned Presason All-ASUN honors, as announced by the league Friday afternoon.
“Preseason awards give people a lot to talk about and everyone is in first place before the season begins, so there is that hope for a new year. I think [Erica Beal‘s] award is well deserved, as are the other two,” stated head coach Mindy McCord. “There are some good defenders in the league this year. I like the way our players are progressing this training camp; it’s a good indication for a positive season. At the end of the season there are a few team awards and goals that we have in mind that are more important than the individual awards are.”
A two-time ASUN All-Tournament Team selection in 2017 and 2018, Beal earned All-ASUN Second Team honors following a stellar junior season a year ago. The Leesburg, Va. native posted career-highs with 23 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers, while turning the ball over just seven times in 20 games to help the Dolphins lead the ASUN and rank fifth nationally with just 13.00 turnovers per game. Additionally, her 19 caused turnovers helped the Dolphins lead the ASUN and rank second in the nation with 12.50 caused turnovers per game. Beal earned ASUN Defensive Player of the Week honors for Feb. 27, 2018 after causing three turnovers and picking up two ground balls against Ohio State in the Moe’s Lacrosse Classic.
Miller, a two-time team captain and 2018 First Team All-ASUN selection, recorded a career-best 51 points (35 goals, 16 assists) as a catalyst on the Dolphins’ NCAA record-setting offense (18.45 goals per game). A two-way threat, Miller totaled 77 shots (63 on goal) as the Dolphins led the nation in shots per game (39.05) and ranked second nationally in shots on goal per game (29.15), in addition to picking up a career-high 48 draw controls, 16 caused turnovers, and 15 ground balls. A native of Elkridge, Md., Miller set the program’s single-season record with two man-down goals, to go along with a program career record with four total short-handed goals. Miller heads into the 2019 season with 111 points and 100 draw controls to her credit.
A Second Team All-ASUN selection last year, McGuire set the Dolphins’ single-season record with 35 assists and ranked second nationally by AnalyticsLacrosse.com in turnover to assist ratio (2.33). The Westminster, Md. native finished third on the team with 56 points (21 goals, 35 assists) and dished a career-high five assists twice. With 21 ground balls and six caused turnovers a year ago, she helped JU rank in the top 10 nationally in shots per game (1st – 39.05), points per game (2nd – 27.95), assists per game (2nd – 9.50), and caused turnovers per game (2nd – 12.50).
Beal, Miller, McGuire, and the rest of the Dolphins open the 2019 season on Friday, Feb. 15 when they play host to UC Davis.
For the full release from the ASUN, visit ASUNSports.org.
2019 Preseason All-ASUN Conference Team
Player of the Year – Siena Gore, Kennesaw State
Defensive Players of the Year – Erica Beal, Jacksonville; Brianna McCaffrey, Liberty; Maura Palandro, Kennesaw State
|*GK||Harley Barrett||Coastal Carolina||Sr.|
|*D||Megan Kilpatrick||Coastal Carolina||Jr.|
|D||Maura Palandro||Kennesaw State||Jr.|
|M||Haley Kyger||Coastal Carolina||Sr.|
|M||Siena Gore||Kennesaw State||So.|
|A||Haley Alexander||Coastal Carolina||Sr.|
* – denotes unanimous selection
2019 ASUN Preseason Coaches Poll
|Place||Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|2.||Coastal Carolina (3)||43|