NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt women’s lacrosse was picked to finish second in the American Athletic Conference while Gabby Fornia, Bri Gross, Melissa Hawkins and Halle Regan were named to the Preseason All-AAC team, the league announced Tuesday.
Florida was picked as the preseason favorite in a vote of the head coaches. The Gators finished with 26 points and five first-place votes while the Commodores finished with 19 points.
Temple received a first-place vote and 17 points followed by Cincinnati (14), East Carolina (10) and Old Dominion (5).
Fornia was a unanimous preseason selection for the second consecutive year. The honors for her from the AAC are nothing new, as she was part of the conference’s first team in 2019. A season ago, the attacker led the Dores with 17 assists and her 29 points was second-most on the squad. With 19 more assists, the senior can become Vanderbilt’s all-time record holder.
Gross, the anchor of the Commodore midfield, led Vanderbilt with 25 goals and 38 draw controls in 2020. The junior from California sits at 82 draw controls and can move into the top 10 in program history with just 18 more. She was twice named Freshman of the Week by the league in 2019.
Hawkins, a stalwart on the backline, caused 14 turnovers and claimed 14 ground balls a season ago. In 2019, she was named to the conference’s second team for her contributions to the team’s appearance in the inaugural AAC tournament.
Regan, the AAC’s leader in ground balls (25) and caused turnovers (15) last season, is another key cog for the Vanderbilt defense. In the win over No. 10 Denver, her three turnovers caused proved to help guide the Dores too their first top-10 win in six years.
The Commodores open the season at 11 a.m. CT Saturday at No. 2 Notre Dame.
2021 American Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches’ Poll
|1.||Florida (5) *||25|
|first-place votes in parentheses|
2021 American Athletic Conference Preseason Attack Player of the Year
Brianna Harris, Florida, *
2021 American Athletic Conference Preseason Midfielder of the Year
Shannon Kavanagh, Florida *
2021 American Athletic Conference Preseason Defensive Players of the Year
Morgan Dukes, Cincinnati
Cara Trombetta, Florida
2021 American Athletic Conference Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Sarah Reznick, Florida *
2021 American Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Preseason All-Conference Team
Alyssa Adams, M, Cincinnati
Monica Borzillo, A, Cincinnati *
Morgan Dukes, D, Cincinnati
Peyton Mottice, M, Cincinnati
Liz Blumthal, D, East Carolina
Nicole LeGar, M, East Carolina
Kaitlyn Dabkowski, D, Florida
Brianna Harris, A, Florida, *
Grace Haus, A, Florida
Shannon Kavanagh, M, Florida *
Sarah Reznick, G, Florida
Cara Trombetta, D, Florida *
Madison Corcoran, D, Old Dominion
Lilly Siskind, A, Old Dominion
Meghan Hoffman, A, Temple
Belle Mastropietro, M, Temple
Courtney Taylor, D, Temple
Bridget Whitaker, M, Temple
Gabby Fornia, A, Vanderbilt *
Brianne Gross, M, Vanderbilt
Melissa Hawkins, D, Vanderbilt
Halle Regan, D, Vanderbilt
* unanimous selection