USLM's 2021 D-I Women's Preseason Positional Players of the Year


Emma Trenchard has started all 49 games since she stepped on UNC's campus.

US Lacrosse Magazine announced Monday its 2021 Division I Women’s Preseason Positional Players of the Year, part of the magazine’s immersive coverage leading to the upcoming spring season.

Four players — an attacker, midfielder, defender and goalie — earned this distinction thanks to their performances during the 2020 season and our expectations for 2021.

Next Monday (Dec. 28), US Lacrosse Magazine will reveal its overall Division I Women’s Preseason Player of the Year.

Preseason Midfielder of the Year
Ally Kennedy, Stony Brook

Stony Brook coach Joe Spallina calls Kennedy the best two-way player in the country. The middie with speed to burn was a mostly unheralded prospect out of North Babylon (N.Y.) High School, but she’s dominated the Division I scene with the Seawolves. 

A member of the U.S. national team player pool, Kennedy has 248 points (193 goals) in 69 career games. She was on pace for career-best marks in 2020 before COVID-19 dashed Stony Brook’s hopes at a national title. “I want to be able to write my own ending and end my lacrosse career the way I really want to,” Kennedy said.

Preseason Attacker of the Year
Jamie Ortega, North Carolina

Ortega enters her senior season with 183 goals and is on pace to shatter North Carolina’s all-time program record of 198. In seven games last season, Ortega was firing on all cylinders. She posted 32 goals and 13 assists.

Ortega and teammate Katie Hoeg spearhead a potent UNC offense that got even stronger with the additions of Katie Bourque and Kerrigan Miller in the midfield. With Scottie Rose Growney and top incoming freshman Caitlyn Wurzburger in the mix, the Tar Heels are the consensus favorite to win the NCAA title in 2021.

Preseason Defender of the Year
Emma Trenchard, North Carolina

Already a two-time first-team All-American, Trenchard is the best of the best on the defensive side of the ball. She has started all 49 games since she stepped on campus, totaling 24 ground balls in both her freshman and sophomore seasons. In the shortened 2020 campaign, Trenchard corralled eight ground balls, caused five turnovers and won a career-high 26 draws.

The U.S. player pool member is capable of locking down the top option on any offense. The Tar Heels continually rank top-10 in the country defensively, and it’s no surprise that Trenchard is in the middle of it.

Preseason Goalie of the Year
Bridget Deehan, Notre Dame

In her first year as the starter for the Irish, Deehan ranked fifth nationally with a 54.7 save percentage and seventh in the country with a goals-against average of 7.78. Overall, the Irish allowed just 7.29 goals per game, ranking second nationally. Not bad for someone taking over for Sam Giacalone, an IWLCA second-team All-American in 2019.

The Atlanta-area product led Milton High School to three state championships. She played sparingly behind Giacalone but showcased her potential in 2020. As Notre Dame continues its ascent to cementing itself as a perennial top-five team, Deehan’s play will be integral.

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