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PSU Women’s Lacrosse collects numerous All-LEC honors

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University women's lacrosse team collected a host of honors Tuesday when the Little East Conference announced its annual All-Star team and award winners for the 2006 season.

            PSU received three of the four top annual awards as senior midfielder Nicole Evans (Scituate, Mass.) was voted LEC Offensive Player of the Year, junior midfielder Kelsey MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) was named LEC Defensive Player of the Year, and second-year head coach Paula Habel (right) was named LEC Coach of the Year.

            In addition, Evans and MacDonald were joined on the All-LEC First Team by senior attack Bethany Brown (Norwich, Conn.) and senior defender Hillary Arthur (Essex Jct., Vt.)  Rounding out PSU's list of honorees are two Second Team picks - junior attack Meg Cupoli (Southboro, Mass.) and senior defender Meghan O'Neil (Scituate, Mass.) All of the teams are voted on by the league's head coaches.

            These individuals were the keys to a Panther team that captured the Little East Conference regular season and conference championships, and take a eight-game winning streak and a 13-5 overall record into this Wednesday's NCAA Tournament game at Colby College (5:30 p.m.)

            MacDonald (left) was voted the LEC's top defensive player and First Team selection after winning the LEC Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2005.  A 5'3" midfielder, she ranks 11th in NCAA Div. III in draw controls (4.19/gm) and 8th in NCAA Div. III in ground balls (5.38/gm).  She also ranks third on team in scoring with 37 goals, 10 assists and 47 points.  MacDonald, who was the LEC Offensive Player of the Week once this season and Defensive Player of the Week twice, was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2006 Little East Conference Tournament.

            Evans (right) was named Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Star after two years on the Second Team. She led the team in scoring with 38 goals, 26 assists and 64 points, finishing second in the conference in assists, fourth in points and sixth in goals.  She also finished fourth on the team in ground balls (52).  Evans, who played only three years at PSU after transferring from the University of New Hampshire, is seventh on PSU's career scoring list with 164 points (95 goals, 69 assists).

            Brown (far left) and Cupoli (left) were two of the top offensive players in the conference.  Brown, a four-time All-LEC selection, finished with 49 goals and 12 assists, ranking third in the LEC in goals and fifth in points.  She has also climbed up to second on PSU's career scoring list with 196 goals and 251 points.  Cupoli finished fifth on the team in scoring with 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists), ranking fourth in the league in assists.  She also finished fourth in the conference in draw controls (55) and caused turnovers (31).

            Arthur (right) and O'Neil (far right) anchored a Panther defense that allowed fewer than an average of 10 goals per game, keeping 11 of its 18 opponents to single digits on the scoreboard.  Arthur is a first-time All-LEC selection, while O'Neil received All-Conference honors all four years (2nd Team in 2003 and 2006, 1st Team in 2004 and 2005).

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