Six Panthers earn All-Conference honors
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's lacrosse team was prominently featured Tuesday when the Little East Conference announced its major awards and All-Conference Team for the 2012 season.
Four members of the Panther program were voted to receive the conference's major awards and six players were recognized with All-LEC honors. The honors came following PSU's outstanding spring season, which included an LEC regular season title, a 13-game winning streak and a final record of 13-2.
The major award winners from PSU include junior Caitlin Swanson as the LEC Midfielder of the Year, sophomore Lorin Field as the LEC Defensive Player of the Year, freshman Meghan McNabb as the LEC Rookie of the Year, and head coach Kristin Blanchette as the LEC Coach of the Year.
Swanson, Field and McNabb were joined on the All-LEC First Team by junior defender Kristen Guest and freshman midfielder Molly Gleason, while freshman attack Shannon Connerty was a Second Team selection. All of the LEC post-season honors are voted on by the league's head coaches.
PSU had the highest scoring team in the LEC this season (16.7 goals/game), due in large part to the big numbers put up by first-year players McNabb and Connerty. McNabb finished with 85 points with more than 40 goals and 40 assists, leading the conference in assists and points and setting the PSU single-season assist mark, while Connerty scored a team-high 53 goals to rank second in the LEC.
Swanson, Guest and Gleason all played key roles in the midfield for PSU to earn the LEC accolades. Swanson, who was a Second Team pick a year ago, provided plenty of offense with 39 goals and 47 points. Guest was an outstanding defender and led the LEC with 41 caused turnovers and ranked fourth by picking up 52 ground balls. Gleason was overpowering on the loose balls in the midfield, collecting a league-leading 112 draw controls and 40 ground balls, while contributing 16 goals to the offense. Gleason broke PSU's single-season record for draw controls.
Plymouth State also had the top defense in the conference, backboned by Field in goal. She led the LEC in goals against average (8.05) and ranked second in save percentage (.535). Field reached double digits in saves in six of her games, including a season-high 15 stops in PSU's season-opening setback at Springfield.
Blanchette led the Panthers to their second LEC regular season title in three years. Picked to finish fourth in the LEC preseason poll, the Panthers went undefeated in conference play (6-0). After the season-opening non-conference loss at Springfield, Blanchette led the Panthers to 13 straight victories before the Panthers were upset by Western Connecticut in the semifinals of the LEC Tournament.
The complete All-LEC Team is available at LittleEast.com.
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