Juniors Cassie Ekstrom and Grace Nolan represent UConn on the 2017 Preseason All-Big East Team, as announced by the conference Thursday. Connecticut was selected to finish second in conference with 68 total points, behind defending, back-to-back conference champions Florida, who finished with 81 points and nine first-place votes.
Ekstrom started at defense in all 17 games last season. The Sandy Hook, Conn. native led the team in caused turnovers last season with 29, 12 of which came in conference play. A member of the 2016 All-Big East Second Team, Ekstrom ranked in the top 30 players nationally last season in caused turnovers per game, averaging 1.71. She was also second on the team in ground balls with 37, behind former UConn goalkeeper, Shannon Nee.
The 2016 Big East Co-Attacker of the Year, Nolan led the league in points per game last season, averaging 3.53. She was a unanimous selection to the 2-17 Preseason All-Conference team. The Marcellus, N.Y. native ranked among the top 40 players in the nation in points per game after she led UConn in points with 60 and was second on the team in goals with 44. Nolan tallied a career-high nine points in a single game against Fairfield last season, scoring six goals and three assists.
Ekstrom, Nolan, and the rest of the Husky squad open their 2017 regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Fairfield. The Huskies’ home opener is set for Wednesday, Feb. 22 against Boston College.