Virginia Tech Women's Soccer Picked To Finish Fifth In BIG EAST Preseason Poll
The Beat
August 1, 2002

PROVIDENCE, RI - The BIG EAST Conference announced the 2002 Women's Soccer Preseason Poll and Awards today. Virginia Tech received 34 points in a vote by the league's 14 head coaches and was selected to finish fifth in the Northeast Division.

For the second consecutive year, Notre Dame and Connecticut have been picked to capture the 2002 BIG EAST Women's Soccer regular season divisional titles as voted but the conference coaches. The Fighting Irish are picked to repeat as Mid-Atlantic Division champions, while the Huskies are selected to finish atop the Northeast Division.

The Irish, who won their seventh consecutive BIG EAST Tournament title in 2001, ended last season with a loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to close the season out with a 17-3 record. Fighting Irish defender Vanessa Prunzinsky was voted the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. West Virginia received three first place votes for the top spot in the Mid-Atlantic Division followed by Rutgers, Villanova, Georgetown, Seton Hall and Pittsburgh.

In the Mid-Atlantic Division, Connecticut received 11 first place votes. The Huskies concluded the 2001 season with a loss in the third round of the NCAA Tournament and earned a spot at No. 10 in the NSCAA/adidas poll. Boston College, the recipient of three divisional first place votes, was selected to finish second ahead of Syracuse, Miami, Virginia Tech, Providence and St. John's.

On Sept. 1, the Hokies open the 2002 season with a trip to South Bend, Ind., to face-off against Notre Dame. Tech's first BIG EAST game will be against Northeast Divisional rival Boston College on Oct. 11 in Blacksburg, Va.

A team's BIG EAST record is determined by divisional games only with the top four teams in each division qualifying for the BIG EAST Championship. Quarterfinal games will be held on campus site on Nov. 2-3, while the semifinals and final will be held at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. on Nov. 8-10.

2002 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
1.  Connecticut (11) 	 99
2.  Boston College (3)	80
3.  Syracuse 	         67
4.  Miami	             56
5.  Virginia Tech 	    34
6.  Providence	        33
7.  St. John's	        26
1.  Notre Dame (11)	   99
2.  West Virginia 	    80
3.  Rutgers           	67
4.  Villanova         	56
5.  Georgetown        	41
6t. Seton Hall        	26
6t. Pittsburgh	        26
( ) denotes first place votes

Offensive Player of the Year
Carli Lloyd, So., Rutgers

Defensive Player of the Year
Vanessa Pruzinsky, Sr., Notre Dame

Goalkeeper of the Year
Caroline Haines, Jr., Providence

Chrissie Abbott, Jr., F, West Virginia
Candace Chapman, So., F, Notre Dame
Kristen Graczyk, So., F, Connecticut
Caroline Haines, Jr., Providence
Vonda Matthews, Jr., F, Miami
Sarah Popper, Sr., M, Connecticut
Vanessa Pruzinsky, Sr., D, Notre Dame
Sarah Rahko, So., M/F/, Boston College
Lisa Stoia, So., M, West Virginia
Amy Warner, So., F, Notre Dame