The Florida Gators are the preseason favorite to win the Big East. The Gators received all nine first place votes available.
The Gators are 28-1 since joining the Big East in 2015, and have won a program record 22 straight conference contests.
Florida returns five 30-point scorers from last year’s 17-3 team and open the season ranked #5 in the Inside Lacrosse Women’s Preseason Rankings.
2018 Big East Preseason Lacrosse Poll:
- Florida (9)
- Denver (1)
Ronbeck, Hicklen earn Preseason Big East honors
In addition to Florida being ranked #1 in the preseason poll, the Gators also swept the preseason Big East honors.
Lindsey Ronbeck was selected as the preseason offensive player of the year. Florida goalkeeper Haley Hicklen was named the preseason defensive player of the year.
Ronbeck is a junior from Manhasset, NY. Last season Ronbeck recorded 53 goals and 20 assists for 73 total points.
Hicklen, a junior from Baltimore, was the 2017 Big East Goalkeeper of the Year. Hicklen turned in a 17-3 record with a .477 save percentage. Hicklen has a program record .499 career save percentage entering her junior season.
Six Gators selected to Preseason All-Big East team
Florida had six players selected to the All-Big East team. No other Big East program had more than two selected.
Ronbeck and Hicklen were joined by seniors Allie Pavinelli and Shayna Pirreca as well as junior Sydney Pirreca and sophomore Cara Trombetta.
2018 Preseason All-Big East Team:
- A Katie Comerford – Villanova
- A Julia Feiss – Denver
- A Kendra Lanuza – Denver
- A Grace Nolan – UCONN
- A Shayna Pirreca – Florida
- A Lindsey Ronbeck – Florida
- A Morgan Ryan – Georgetown
- M Julia Blaze – Vanderbilt
- M Grace Gabriel – Marquette
- M Allie Pavinelli – Florida
- M Sydney Pirreca – Florida
- D Cassie Ekstrom – UCONN
- D Nicole Latgis – Temple
- D Cara Trombetta – Florida
- GK Haley Hicklen – Florida
Florida opens their season with a home tilt against Colorado on Sunday, February 9th.
*Information for this article was provided by the official UF lacrosse press release.