Oct. 25, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Women's basketball head coaches and sports information directors from the Patriot League awarded Army senior guard Anna Simmers one of five spots on the Preseason All-League team, while predicting the Black Knights to finish the 2012-13 season in fourth place, as announced by the conference on Thursday morning.
Simmers, who was named to the All-Patriot League first team at the end of last season, surprised many during her junior campaign. The Anchorage, Alaska, native went from averaging 2.3 points per game as a sophomore, to leading the conference with a 14.8 point- per-contest output in 2011-12.
“In all my years of coaching, Anna may be one of my biggest surprises,” said seventh-year head coach Dave Magarity. “Her breakout junior year was unexpected and quite an accomplishment. Everyone around the league was surprised and wondered where she came from, since she only played a few minutes as a sophomore and freshman. But you can tell in the way she practices; day-in and day-out she brings it.”
Joining Simmers on the Preseason All-League team were Preseason Player of the Year Jade Geif, a junior forward from Navy, American junior guard Alexis Dobbs, as well as Alex Smith (junior, guard) and Amy Lepley (senior, guard/forward) of Holy Cross.
Simmers is one of four starters Magarity welcomes back from a year ago, along with all-conference second-team performer Jen Hazlett, all-rookie selection Olivia Schretzman, and current co-captain Liz Benedict.
Reigning Patriot League Tournament champion Navy was picked No. 1 in the preseason poll, collecting eight first-place votes and 89 points, and was followed by 2012 regular-season champion American, which tallied 85 points and six first-place nods. The Crusaders narrowly edged Army for third place, collecting 70 points and one first-place vote, as the Black Knights earned 66 points and the remaining first-place vote.
“I’m not surprised that we were picked fourth in the preseason poll,” continued Magarity. “It’s based purely on who we have coming back, which is a strong core of players like Simmers, Hazlett and Schretzman. On top of that, to get a first-place vote is very encouraging, given the strength of the league this season.”
With 58 points, Lehigh was projected to finish fifth, followed by Lafayette in sixth with 30 points. Bucknell and Colgate tied for seventh place with 25 points apiece.
Army’s season officially gets under way in just over two weeks, when the Black Knights travel to Wagner on Nov. 9. Army’s home schedule commences on Nov. 12, when St. Francis (N.Y.) comes to West Point and christens newly redesigned Christl Arena. Both games have tipoff times of 7 p.m.
2012-13 Patriot League Preseason Poll
- Navy – 89 points (8 first-place votes)
- American – 85 (6)
- Holy Cross – 70 (1)
- 4. Army – 66 (1)
- Lehigh – 58
- Lafayette – 30
- Bucknell – 25
Colgate – 25
Preseason Player of the Year
Jade Geif, Navy, Jr., F
Alexis Dobbs, American, Jr., G
Anna Simmers, Army, Sr., G
Alex Smith, Holy Cross, Jr., G
Amy Lepley, Holy Cross, Sr., F/G
Jade Geif, Navy, Jr., F