Monmouth senior Madie Gibson was named the MAAC preseason player of the year. (Photo courtesy of Monmouth University SID)
EDISON, N.J. – The Monmouth University women, the six-time defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season champions and three-time defending MAAC Tournament champions, have been voted to claim the top spot in the conference for the 2019 season.
Redshirt senior forward Madie Gibson was voted the MAAC preseason player of the year, while Jill Conklin, Jess Johnson, Sarina Jones, Amanda Knaub, Anna Lazur and Lexie Palladino joined her on the preseason All-MAAC team.
“It is an honor for our entire program to be recognized by the coaches in the league as the preseason favorite,” head coach Krissy Turner said. “We will continue to work extremely hard to maintain the standard we have established for ourselves and are looking forward to the start of our season.”
Monmouth earned 121 points and all 11 first-place votes in the poll, followed by Quinnipiac, which earned 96 points. Siena finished behind the Bobcats with 89 points and Marist was fourth with 96 points.
Rider was slotted at fifth (81), Niagara (69) came in at sixth, Fairfield (54) seventh, and Manhattan (50) eighth. Canisius (32), Iona (28) and Saint Peter’s (20) rounded out the final three spots in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Gibson is the first Monmouth player to be named MAAC Preseason Player of the Year in three consecutive years after she earned MAAC Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2018. The forward enters this season with 27 goals, 26 assists and 80 career points, which ranks in the top 10 in program history.
Monmouth placed a league-best seven on the Preseason All-MAAC Team, including Gibson. Conklin, last season’s Rookie of the Year returns for her sophomore season, while Sarina Jones comes into her junior campaign with 40 career starts under her belt on defense. A quartet of seniors, Johnson, Lazur, Knaub and Palladino round out the honorees for the Hawks. Johnson was the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year, while Lazur claimed First Team honors as members of Monmouth’s back line. Goalkeeper Amanda Knaub was a Second Team pick in 2018 and Palladino is coming off a First Team and All-Championship Team season.
Monmouth kicks off its season when it hosts Hofstra University Aug. 23 at 6 p.m.
Preseason All-MAAC Team
Forward – Madie Gibson, Monmouth*
Forward – Kelsey Araujo, Niagara
Forward – Annie Ibey, Niagara
Midfielder – Jill Conklin, Monmouth
Midfielder – Lexie Palladino
Midfielder – Valeria Pascuet, Rider
Midfielder – Selena Salas, Quinnipiac^
Back – Niamh Cashin, Rider
Back – Anna Lazur, Monmouth
Back – Jess Johnson, Monmouth
Back – Sarina Jones, Monmouth^
Goalkeeper – Amanda Knuab, Monmouth
Preseason Player of the Year: Madie Gibson, Monmouth
^ – Wild Card Selection (Two wild cards due to tie in voting)
Coaches Poll (first-place votes)
Monmouth (11) – 121
Quinnipiac – 96
Siena – 89
Marist – 86
Rider – 81
Niagara – 69
Fairfield – 54
Manhattan – 50
Canisius – 32
Iona – 28
Saint Peter’s – 20