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Nolan and Ekstrom Garner Preseason All-Conference Honors

Jan. 26, 2018

Full BIG EAST Release

STORRS, Conn. -
UConn seniors Grace Nolan and Cassie Ekstrom of the University of Connecticut women's lacrosse team garnered preseason honors from the BIG EAST Conference, as announced by the league office on Friday morning.

Nolan, a unanimous selection, finds herself on the Preseason All-Conference list for the third consecutive year, while Ekstrom lands on the list for the second-straight season in a vote of the conference's head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their team or own players. In the Preseason Coaches' Poll, UConn was picked to finish fifth in the 10-team conference, in back of Florida, Denver, Georgetown, and Temple.

Nolan, a 2017 All-BIG EAST First Team selection, is coming off a junior campaign in which she led the conference in scoring, notching 4.81 points per game. The Marcellus, N.Y. native paced the Huskies in points (77), goals (44), assists (33) and free position goals (10). Her 77 points rank second in the UConn record book for points in a single season, while her 33 helpers marked the second highest in program history.

Ekstrom joins her classmate as a preseason selection following a strong junior stint. The backbone of the Huskies' defensive squad, Ekstrom lead the team in both caused turnover and ground balls last season, notching 25 and 40, respectively. She ranked fourth among BIG EAST leaders averaging 2.50 ground balls per contest and was among the Top-10 in the league in caused turnovers (1.60 per game).



UConn compiled 49 points in the Coaches' Poll, which was led by reigning BIG EAST Regular Season and Tournament Champions Florida (81). Denver (73) and Georgetown (62) round out the top three spots in the poll, while Temple came in slightly above Connecticut, receiving 56 points. Behind the Huskies, in order, are Vanderbilt (37) and Marquette (37), Villanova (27), Cincinnati (19) and Butler (9).

The duo was joined on the Preseason Team by Vanderbilt's Julia Blaze and Katie Comerford, Denver's Julia Feiss and Kendra Lanuza and Gace Gabriel of Marquette. Haley Hicklen, Allie Pavinelli, Shayna and Sydney Pirreca, Lindsey Ronbeck and Cara Trombetta, all of Florida, Temple's Nicole Latgis and Georgetown's Morgan Ryan and Francesca Whitehurst received the distinction as well.

Ronbeck was tabbed the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year while teammate Hicklen was named the league's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

UConn opens the season at Syracuse on Friday, February 9 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. The Huskies begin their 2018 season at the Sherman Family Complex on Valentine's Day in a midweek matinee against the Fairfield Stags. To see Connecticut's full schedule, click here.