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Niagara's Crump, Higgins earn preseason All-MAAC accolades

EDISON, N.J. – The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) announced Niagara sophomore attacker Caroline Crump and junior defender Alexandra Higgins as members of the 2017 Women's Lacrosse Preseason All-MAAC Team on Tuesday evening.

Last season, Crump became the first Niagara rookie to lead the team in scoring since 2006, leading the Purple Eagles with 32 goals, 16 assists, and 48 points. Crump led MAAC rookies in total scoring, ranking both second among freshmen in goals and assists en route to All-MAAC Second Team and MAAC All-Rookie Team honors in 2016. With 48 points, Crump posted the 11th-highest single-season scoring total in Niagara program history.

Higgins led the Purple Eagles and ranked fourth in the MAAC in the 2016 campaign with 64 draw controls. Defensively, she ranked fourth on the team with 13 caused turnovers and fifth with 30 ground balls. Higgins has played in all 36 games during her two years at Niagara, making 22 starts, and has 89 draw controls, 55 ground balls, and 21 caused turnovers during her career. A native of Hamburg, Higgins was named to the 2016 All-MAAC Second Team.

"We are excited to hear that Caroline and Lexi were named to the Preseason All-MAAC Team, and we are anxious to get our season started," head coach Wendy Stone said. "We are very proud of their efforts and accomplishments, and know that they have their sights set higher in 2017. As a team, we look forward to showing everyone how much progress we have made since last season."

In the annual Coaches' Preseason Poll, Niagara was selected to finish fifth in the upcoming season following a fourth-place finish in the 2016 regular season.

Canisius College was selected as the unanimous preseason favorite, earning nine first-place votes and 81 points. Monmouth University was voted second at 70 points, while Fairfield University and Marist College tied for third at 57 points. The Purple Eagles garnered 48 points in the preseason poll. Iona College and Siena College were tied for sixth at 32 points, and Manhattan College and Quinnipiac University tied for eighth at 14 points.

The Purple Eagles lacrosse team recorded the second-most wins in a season in program history in 2016, finishing the regular season at 9-8 before falling to Fairfield in the first round of the MAAC Championship. Niagara also posted its first-ever five-win season in MAAC play. Crump, Higgins, and senior goalkeeper Andrea Francisco return after being named to the 2016 All-MAAC Second Team. Alexis Morales joined Crump in earning MAAC All-Rookie Team accolades a season ago.

Niagara begins the 2017 regular season with a pair of home games this month, hosting St. Bonaventure at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20 and Colgate at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

from PurpleEagles.com via IFTTT

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