The two-time defending MAAC Women's Lacrosse Champions, Canisius was picked to repeat in the league's preseason poll, announced by the MAAC on Wednesday. In addition, senior midfielder Morgan Leonard was selected as MAAC Preseason Player of the Year.
Joining Leonard on the Preseason All-MAAC Team is senior midfielder Lindsey Morgan and junior defender Gabby Kotas.
Canisius led all teams with 44 points in the annual preseason poll and was followed by regular-season champion Fairfield, who earned 42 votes in the poll. The Griffs defeated the Stags in each of the last two MAAC Championships, posting a 13-8 win in 2011 and a 15-11 victory last season.
Marist is slated to finish third with 33 points and is followed by Iona (29 points), Siena (26), Manhattan (13) and Niagara (9).
In her first season with the Griffs in 2012, Leonard made an immediate splash. She was named 2012 MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and was also a unanimous selection to the All-MAAC First Team. She totaled 39 points, 29 goals, 10 assists, 40 caused turnovers, 45 ground balls and 37 draw controls. The Sykesville, Md. native led the MAAC and ranked seventh nationally with 2.11 caused turnovers per game.
Leonard also helped the Griffs to their second-straight MAAC Championship, earning tournament MVP honors. She collected nine points, eight goals, seven draw controls, three caused turnovers and three ground balls in two wins en route to the championship.
Morgan earned first-team All-MAAC honors in 2012 after collecting second-team accolades in 2011. She ranked second on the team with 44 goals during her junior campaign - the sixth-most in the program's history. Overall, she placed fifth in the MAAC with 2.32 goals per game, while also ranking second in the league with 1.53 caused turnovers per game. Morgan also earned MAAC All-Tournament Team honors after posting five points and four goals in the championship game.
Kotas anchored the Canisius defensive unit during the Griffs' championship run last season en route to second-team All-MAAC accolades. Canisius posted the second-best scoring defense last year in the program's history with Kotas collecting 27 ground balls, 12 caused turnovers and six draw controls.
The two-time defending MAAC Champions, Canisius finished the 2012 campaign with a 10-9 record. Seven starters and 15 letterwinners return in 2013 as the Griffs attempt to become the first team in MAAC history to win three-straight titles.
Canisius opens the 2013 campaign on Sunday, playing at Louisville.