IWLCA Recognizes 16 NESCAC Players as All-America
HADLEY, Mass. – Sixteen individuals representing seven of the 11 NESCAC members were honored on Wednesday evening by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) as All-America. The 16 selections represents one-third of the total amount of players honored by the IWLCA, 48, over three All-America teams.
Each of the 16 players earned All-NESCAC in some fashion this spring, with all 12 members of the All-Conference First Team garnering All-America. Colby led the way with four selections, while Amherst, Middlebury, and NESCAC and NCAA champion Trinity each had three honorees.
On the IWLCA All-America First Team were the Trinity trio of seniors Liz Bruno and Liza Beckler along with junior Megan Leonhard. Middlebury junior midfielder Margaret Souther and Amherst senior defender Meredith LaRose rounded out the NESCAC contingent on the IWLCA's top team.
Bruno, a unanimous choice for NESCAC Player of the Year this spring, earned both All-America and All-NESCAC First Team recognition for the third year in a row. Owning a mighty combination of speed, strength, power, and skill, Bruno's presence in the midfield has anchored her squad during their record-setting 21-1 campaign. Starting every game during her four years with the Bantams, Bruno's final season at Trinity has proven to be her finest, as she collected 27 goals and a team-high 30 assists for 57 points - all career-best figures. She also caused 52 turnovers, posted 53 draw controls, and scooped up 60 ground balls.
Returning from the 2011 All-America First Team, Leonhard ranked third among her squad in scoring with 52 points, collecting 46 goals and six helpers. Leonard picked up 49 ground balls, earned 53 draw controls, and caused 25 turnovers.
Beckler, an All-America Third Team honoree last May, directed a Bantam defense that owned a 7.08 goals against average, collecting 36 ground balls and causing 26 turnovers along the way.
One of the most well-rounded players in the league, Souther enjoyed a breakout season on offense for the Panthers as she played a part in roughly a quarter of her team's scoring this season with a team-leading and personal-best 39goals and 24 assists for 63 points. Her totals following the Panthers' NCAA semifinal appearance include 28 ground balls, 41 draw controls, and 17 caused turnovers.
LaRose was a key component in the Jeffs' league-leading defense, recording a team-high 34 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers. A three-time All-NESCAC selection, LaRose previously received All-America recognition in 2010 as part of the Third Team.
On the IWLCA All-America Second Team were five players from five different NESCAC squads. Garnering recognition were Amherst sophomore midfielder Alex Philie, Bates senior attacker Joan O'Neill, Bowdoin junior attacker Carolyn Gorajek, Colby junior midfielder Kate Pistel, and Hamilton senior defender Lauren Sokol.
A two-time All-NESCAC First Team member, Pistel's play frustrated opponents' top scorers this season, as she accumulated 21 caused turnovers, 28 ground balls, and 19 draw controls. The two-time All-American also chipped in on the attack for the Mules, registering 28 goals and 11 assists.
A two-time All-Conference Second Team selection, O'Neill earned a promotion to the First Team following her final stint with the Bobcats in which she tied the program's single-season points record a year after setting it (70) and also was among the league leaders in goals (52) and points.
Gorajek was not far behind O'Neill on the conference's leader board, as she matched her 2011 point totals with 66 (48-18) to pace the Polar Bears in scoring for the second year in a row.
Philie was dominant on both sides of the ball during her second tour with the Jeffs. Owning a remarkable sense for the draw, Philie recorded a conference-best 74 draw controls. Her 34 points on 29 goals and five assists placed her third on Amherst's score sheet.
Sokol's intelligence with the ball may be hard to measure, however her eight turnovers are impressive considering how much she handled the ball for the Continentals this season. She also contributed 32 ground balls, 24 caused turnovers, and 45 draw controls.
On the All-America Third team were the Colby trio of senior Claire Donegan along with sophomores Kirsten Karis and Lindsey McKenna. The three were joined by Middlebury senior Lily Nguyen and first year Katie Ritter and Amherst senior Allie Horwitz.
After a remarkable first year with the Mules that was rewarded with NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors, McKenna outdid herself this season with a team-high 45 goals and eight assists.
Donegan and Karis were both members of the 2012 All-NESCAC Second Team. Donegan, who appeared in 17 of the Mules' 18 outings, was second among her teammates with 43 points on 21 goals and 22 assists. Karis led her club with 38 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers.
A First Team All-America selection in 2011, Ngueyn (15-4) finished among the top netminders in the conference in terms of goals against and save percentage, as she recorded a 7.21 GAA and a .468 save mark to earn First Team All-NESCAC this May.
Ritter came away with NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors. Chosen as part of the All-Conference Second Team, Ritter was stellar for the Panthers during her first season in the league, scoring 32 goals and scooping 29 ground balls at midfield.
Horwitz, an All-NESCAC Second Team member, started all 18 of the Jeffs' outings this year, collecting 43 points with 31 goals and 12 assists at attack, second among her teammates.
The IWLCA will honor the National All-Americans at the IWLCA All-American banquet on June 16, 2012 at the Radisson Hotel Valley Forge in King of Prussia, Pa.