Trinity's Bruno a Unanimous Choice for Top Honors
HADLEY, Mass. – Trinity senior midfielder Liz Bruno (Andover, Mass.) has been unanimously chosen by the conference coaches as the 2012 NESCAC Player of the Year. It's the second year in a row that a Bantam has earned top honors, as former teammate Rachel Romanowsky became the first Trinity player to take home Player of the Year in 2011. Bruno's Bantams head into Wednesday night's NCAA Tournament action fresh off their second-straight NESCAC championship.
In addition to garnering the league's top player award, Bruno added All-NESCAC accolades for the fourth year in a row, as she was named to the First Team for the third consecutive spring. Owning a mighty combination of speed, strength, power, and skill, Bruno's presence in the midfield has anchored her squad during their impressive 16-1 campaign. Starting every game during her four years with the Bantams, Bruno's final season at Trinity has proven to be her finest, collecting 18 goals and a team-high 23 assists for 41 points - all career-best figures. She has also caused 38 turnovers (2nd NESCAC), posted 43 draw controls, and scooped up 39 ground balls.
Bruno was one of five midfielders featured on the All-Conference First Team. Also at midfield from Trinity was junior Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.), as the Bantams led all conference teams with three individuals on the First Team. Returning from the 2011 First Team, Leonhard ranks second among her squad in scoring with 48 points, collecting 42 goals and six helpers. Leonard has picked up 40 ground balls, earned 40 draw controls, and caused 20 turnovers. Also back from last year's First Team was Colby junior Kate Pistel (Amherst, Mass.). Pistel's play has frustrated opponents' top scorers this season, as she has accumulated 17 caused turnovers, 21 ground balls, and 15 draw controls. She's also chipped in on the attack for the Mules, registering 21 goals and six assists.
Earning All-NESCAC honors for the first time in their careers were Middlebury junior Margaret Souther (Scarsdale, N.Y.) and Amherst sophomore Alexandra Philie (East Sandwich, Mass.). One of the most well-rounded players in the league, Souther has enjoyed a breakout season on offense for the Panthers as she has played a part in roughly a quarter of her team's scoring this season with a personal-best 30 goals and 23 assists for 53 points. Her totals heading into the NCAA Tournament include 25 ground balls, 37 draw controls, and 15 caused turnovers. Philie has been dominant on both sides of the ball during her second tour with the Jeffs. Owning a remarkable sense for the draw, Philie has a conference-best 64 draw controls. Her 26 points on 21 goals and five assists place her third on Amherst's score sheet.
The attack on the All-NESCAC First Team consisted of a trio from Maine. Bates senior Joan O'Neill (Westwood, Mass.), Bowdoin junior Carolyn Gorajek (Hightstown, N.J.), and Colby sophomore Lindsey McKenna (Fairfield, Conn.) all earned First Team honors for the first time in their careers. A two-time 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 led the league 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. After a remarkable first year with the Mules that was rewarded with NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors, McKenna has nearly equaled the performance this season with her 39 goals and six assists just two points shy of the 47 she racked up last season.
A group of veterans made up the defensive corps on the First Team. Returning for another tour was Trinity's Liza Beckler (Potomac, Md.), one of five players to repeat on this year's squad. Beckler directs a Bantam defense that owns a 7.75 goals against average, collecting 29 ground balls and causing 19 turnovers along the way. Meredith LaRose (Cranford, N.J.) of Amherst earned All-NESCAC honors for the third consecutive year, having last appeared on the First Team in 2010. LaRose has been a key component in the Jeffs' league-leading defense, recording a team-high 32 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers. Hamilton's Lauren Sokol (Colts Neck, N.J.) rounds out the defenders on the First Team. 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.
Senior goalkeeper Lily Nguyen (Oakland, Calif.) repeated as an All-NESCAC First Team member. Ngueyn (12-3) is among the top netminders in the conference in terms of goals against and save percentage, as she heads into the NCAA Tournament with a 6.94 GAA and a .478 save mark. First year teammate Katie Ritter (Middlebury, Vt.) came away with Rookie of the Year honors. Chosen as part of the Second Team, Ritter has been stellar for the Panthers during her first season in the league, scoring 29 goals and scooping 24 ground balls at midfield.
For the third year in a row, Trinity's Kate Livesay was the choice among her counterparts for Coach of the Year honors. Livesay, a 2003 graduate of Middlebury and a former First Team All-NESCAC member on defense, guided the Bantams to the NESCAC title this past weekend over her alma mater, 11-10, her program's second league crown. She also earned Coach of the Year previously in 2007.
2012 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse All-Conference Team
|A||Carolyn Gorajek||Bowdoin||Jr.||Hightstown, N.J.|
|A||Lindsey McKenna||Colby||So.||Fairfield, Conn.|
|A||Joan O'Neill||Bates||Sr.||Westwood, Mass.|
|M||Liz Bruno||Trinity||Sr.||Andover, Mass.|
|M||Megan Leonhard||Trinity||Jr.||Summit, N.J.|
|M||Alexandra Philie||Amherst||So.||East Sandwich, Mass.|
|M||Kate Pistel||Colby||Jr.||Amherst, Mass.|
|M||Margaret Souther||Middlebury||Jr.||Scarsdale, N.Y.|
|D||Liza Beckler||Trinity||Sr.||Potomac, Md.|
|D||Meredith LaRose||Amherst||Sr.||Cranford, N.J.|
|D||Lauren Sokol||Hamilton||Sr.||Colts Neck, N.J.|
|GK||Lily Nguyen||Middlebury||Sr.||Oakland, Calif.|
|A||Elizabeth Clegg||Bowdoin||Sr.||Hudson, Ohio|
|A||Kerry Eaton||Tufts||Jr.||Norfolk, Mass.|
|A||Allie Horwitz||Amherst||Sr.||Woodbridge, Conn.|
|A||Caitlin Irvine||Trinity||Sr.||Westwood, Mass.|
|A||Lara Kozin||Tufts||Sr.||Suffern, N.Y.|
|M||Claire Donegan||Colby||Sr.||Great Falls, Va.|
|M||Rachel Friedman||Hamilton||Jr.||Fairfield, Conn.|
|M||Katie Ritter||Middlebury||Fy.||Middlebury, Vt.|
|D||Kelly Cakert||Tufts||Sr.||Sudbury, Mass.|
|D||Mallory Hinman||Trinity||Jr.||Longmeadow, Mass.|
|D||Kirsten Karis||Colby||So.||Southborough, Mass.|
|D||Molly Paduda||Bowdoin||So.||Madison, Conn.|
|GK||Michelle Burt||Colby||So.||Woodbridge, Conn.|
|Player of the Year|
|Rookie of the Year|
|Coach of the Year|