November 14, 2011

LM Poll: Division I Men's, Women's Preseason Player of the Year

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter

It's November, but Lacrosse Magazine has long been looking ahead to the spring college season. As part of our preseason coverage in January's magazine, we want your input for LM's preseason players of the year.

We've narrowed it down to four finalists in each division. Who are your picks?

Voting kicks off with Division I men and women. Check back to throughout the week to vote on preseason players of the year in men's and women's Division II and III, club men, club women and JuCo levels.

Polls will close on Monday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Results will be published in the January issue of LM, alongside our staff picks. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 350,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

The polls have closed. Thanks for your vote and check the February issue of Lacrosse Magazine for the results.

NCAA Division I Men

Mark Matthews, Denver
Denver burst onto the national contender scene in year two of the Bill Tierney Era last spring, and Matthews was a big reason why. The crafty Canadian attackman was named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and his 46 goals and 24 assists accounted for 20 percent of the Pioneers total points.

Rob Pannell, Cornell
The game plan nightmare for opposing coaches is back for another season. The bulldog attackman is the reigning USILA Player of the Year and last season led the nation in points per game (5.24), half a goal more per game than second place, and Cornell to the No. 2 overall seed for the NCAA tournament. He'll look to repeat the individual success while getting the Big Red deeper in the playoffs.

John Ranagan, Johns Hopkins
Ranagan's national profile grew larger last season as a sophomore. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound midfieler used his size and skill out of the midfield to earn first-team All-American honors, tally 18 goals and 14 assists and serve as a key part of the group that led the Blue Jays to a 13-3 season.

Steele Stanwick, Virginia
The offense of the defending national champion Cavaliers will run through Stanwick, much like it did down the stretch of last season when the silky smooth attackman produced 21 points in the NCAA tournament to help Virginia win the title.


NCAA Division I Women

The polls have closed. Thanks for your vote and check the February issue of Lacrosse Magazine for the results.

Ally Carey, Vanderbilt
A nominee for LM's Preseason Player of the Year in 2010 as well, Carey is a do-it-all midfielder for the Commodores and has proven herself to be one the best overall players in the country. As a junior last season, she was third on the team in points (30) and first in ground balls (60), draw controls (59) and caused turnovers (32).

Kitty Cullen, Florida
It was Cullen who was named ALC Player of the Year last season, an award handed out before conference foe Northwestern went on to win the national title behind Shannon Smith. Cullen put together a strong season as the Gators set all kinds of firsts in their second season as varsity program. The whole team is back, including Cullen, who was named first-team All-American last year and led the nation in scoring at the end of the regular season with 77 goals.

Karri Ellen Johnson, Maryland
LM's 2010 Preseason Player of the Year missed much of last season dealing with the effects of concussion suffered in late March, but she was back on the field for fall ball and is prepared to close her college career strong. "It's like I never left," Johnson told contributor Brian Kapur in October. "It's really fun. I can't believe I'm a senior." Johnson averaged 4.6 points per game in 11 games in 2011. She finished the year fifth on the team in points despite missing 12 games because of the head injury.

Shannon Smith, Northwestern
Smith is the defending Tewaaraton Award winner. In 2011, she had 86 goals and 42 assists, and shot 54 percent in 23 games. She was directly involved in 30 percent of Northwestern's scoring plays (either a goal or assist), and was also fourth on the team in draw controls (39).

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