O'Hara headlines four preseason All-Big South selections; Camels picked third


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CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Campbell senior defender Erin O'Hara has been named the Big South Conference Women's Lacrosse Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches. The Camels were selected third in the annual preseason poll among the eight teams competing for the 2017 conference title.

Sophomore midfielder Melissa Placek and junior attacker Kayla Reilly joined O'Hara on the preseason all-conference team. The Camels' third-place billing is the highest in program history.

O'Hara is the first Campbell player to receive preseason player of the year honors after becoming the only Camel to earn three-straight all-conference selections following the 2016 campaign. Last season, she started in all 19 games and picked up a team-high 29 ground balls, which was helped by 11 multi-ground ball games. O'Hara added 13 draw controls and eight caused turnovers.

The Gambrills, Maryland native picked up a season-high four ground balls in a victory over Mercer and won three draws in a win at Presbyterian. O'Hara scored a goal in a win over Radford, marking her third-straight season with one score. Academically, she was named to the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll and the Big South Presidential Honor Roll.

O'Hara is Campbell's current career leader for caused turnovers with 46 through her first three seasons. She is also the active career leader for ground balls and is fourth overall with 91. O'Hara will become the Camels' all-time leader for games played and total minutes with a full season of action in 2017.

Placek is coming off a banner freshman season that ended with an All-Big South second team selection, becoming the first Campbell rookie to receive postseason honors that high. She was also one of the first two All-Big South Tournament selections in program history. Placek Scored 13 goals with four assists for a total of 17 points through all 19 games of the season.

The Baltimore, Maryland native ranked second on the team with 61 draw controls and averaged 3.21 draws per game, which was seventh in the Big South and 46th nationally. Placek also finished second on the team with 17 caused turnovers and picked up 27 ground balls, which ranked third on the team.

Placek scored a season-high of four goals and won six draw controls in a victory at Gardner-Webb and found the back of the cage twice in a win over Liberty. She already ranks fourth all-time at Campbell in career draw controls and her 61 pick-ups were the most ever by a Campbell freshman. In the classroom, Placek was named to the Big South Presidential Honor Roll.

Reilly earns her first career preseason all-conference nod after recording 56 points on 27 goals and 29 assists last season, which ranked third on the team and first among this season's returners. As a starter in all 19 contests, Reilly scored on 27 of 61 shots for a .443 shooting percentage and led the team with 39 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers.

Reilly scored a goal in 15 of 19 contests with nine multi-goal efforts. She tallied a season-high seven points in a win over Liberty with two goals and a season-high five assists. She scored a season-high three goals in three different Camel victories and recorded at least one point in all but two contests.

Reilly, a native of Fallston, Maryland, is tied for third on Campbell's all-time scoring list with CU assistant coach Taelar Errington at 60 goals. She also sits third in career points and assists with 99 and 39 respectively. She's averaged 2.68 points, 1.62 goals and 1.05 assists per game through her first two years in the orange and black.

High Point, who ended the Camels' historic 2016 season in the Big South Championship semifinals, was picked as the league favorite with six first place votes. Defending league champions Winthrop was picked second with two first place votes. Campbell, Liberty and Longwood rounded out the top five. Presbyterian and Radford were tied for sixth while Gardner-Webb rounded out the poll in eighth.

High Point senior attacker Samantha Brown was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. HPU, Winthrop and Campbell led the way with three preseason selections each.

Campbell is coming off a season that saw the program's highest single-season win total (10), overall winning percentage (.526), All-Big South selections (4) and its first postseason victory in the quarterfinals of the Big South Championship. The Camels return 16 letter-winners and welcome eight newcomers on the 2017 roster.