The Liberty lacrosse squad had a program-best 5-2 record in Big South action. To complement the successful season, the Lady Flames were well represented in the Big South postseason honors category. Redshirt seniors and co-captains Nina Dunay and Morgan Becker join Colleen Ekert on the all-conference first team squad. Katy Pridemore, Sam Struss and Kallie Britton were placed on the all-conference second team, while Struss was also tabbed to the all-academic team. In addition, Juliann Elmer was named to the honorable mention all-conference squad.
Dunay garners her third consecutive all-conference honor, her first time being named to the first team. Despite missing two contests earlier in the season, Dunay netted 25 goals for the fourth most on the squad, while recording 36 points on the season, ranking fifth on the team. Dunay caused 24 turnovers this season, pushing her career total to 78 caused turnovers, passing Jen Freymond for the most caused turnovers in program history. In the season opener against Virginia Tech on Feb. 6, Dunay netted her 100th career goal, the first Lady Flame to reach the century mark. The Ashburn, Va., native sits atop the all-time goals leaderboard, tied with Morgan Becker with 124 career goals. Dunay also ranks second in program history in points with 167.
Ekert was named to the first team all-conference squad in her first full season as a Lady Flame. The Rutgers transfer forced a team-high 26 caused turnovers this season, including a program-record seven caused turnovers in the 23-9 victory at Presbyterian on April 12. Ekert scooped up 36 ground balls this season, ranking second on the squad. The Smithtown, N.Y., native also won 19 draw controls from the defensive end.
Becker rounds out the first team all-conference honorees as an at-large member to the squad. Becker finished the regular season with 34 goals and a program-record 26 assists. Becker's point total of 60 passed Struss' 50 point total a year ago for the most points recorded in program history. The redshirt senior also won 29 draw controls, ranking second on the squad. Becker leads four major career categories in goals scored (124), assists (53), points (177) and draw controls (162).
Pridemore was named to the second team all-conference squad after completing a standout freshman season. Pridemore led the team in goals with 45 and ranked second on the squad in points with 58 after recording 13 assists. Pridemore's 45 goals marked a new program single-season record for goals scored. The Vero Beach, Fla., native was named Big South Freshman of the Week three different times this season, with the last being on April 14. Pridemore ranked fifth on the squad in draw controls with 22.
Struss finished the season ranked third in goals (29), second in assists (18) and third in points (47). Struss' accomplishments this season garnered her position on the second team all-conference squad. The Evans City, Pa., native finished the season with 18 ground balls and 25 draw controls. Struss ranks third all-time in goals scored with 101 and points with 154. Struss is tied with Becker for the most assists in program history with 53. Additionally, Struss was named to the all-academic team for second consecutive season.
Britton receives her first-ever second team all-conference position after being an honorable mention last season. Britton finished the regular season with 24 goals, 13 assists and 37 points. The midfielder finished third on the team in ground balls with 32 and draw controls with 27. In addition, Britton forced 21 turnovers, ranking third on the squad.
Elmer rounds out the Liberty honorees as the junior goalkeeper was named to the honorable mention all-conference squad. After posting a 7-10 record, including a program best 5-2 Big South mark, the Maryland native catapulted into the Liberty record books. Elmer recorded 194 saves in the regular season, setting a new single-season saves record. Elmer's 194 saves lead the NCAA to go along with her 11.41 saves per game tally.
The Big South's Offensive Player of the Year was awarded to Winthrop's Jenna Kasmarik, while her teammate Alaina Girani was named the Big South Freshman of the Year. Winthrop's John Sung was named this year's Big South Coach of the Year. Maddy Ciardi of Coastal Carolina was awarded the Defensive Player of the Year, while Longwood's Liz Trainer rounds out the individual awards as the Scholar-Athlete of the year.
The 2015 Big South Lacrosse Championship gets under way on Tuesday with the quarterfinal round. The No. 2 seed Liberty hosts No. 7 seed Gardner-Webb at 4 p.m. at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.
2015 Big South Conference Women's Lacrosse All-Conference Teams First-Team All-Conference ATT Jenna Kasmarik, Sr., Winthrop ATT Allie Foard, Jr., High Point ATT Loren Day, Jr., Campbell MF Leah Pace, Jr., High Point MF Shannon Gallagher, Jr., Winthrop MF Nina Dunay, R-Sr., Liberty MF Erica Perrotta, Fr., High Point MF Sarah Butler, Jr., Longwood D Maddy Ciardi, Jr., Coastal Carolina D Katie McLaughlin, Sr., High Point D Colleen Ekert, Jr., Liberty GK Alaina Girani, Fr., Winthrop AL Morgan Becker, R-Sr., Liberty AL Keri White, Jr., Coastal Carolina AL Shiloh McKenzie, Jr., Longwood
Second-Team All-Conference ATT Katy Pridemore, Fr., Liberty ATT Sam Struss, Sr., Liberty ATT Erica Hitch, Jr., Campbell MF Katherine Judge, Fr., Winthrop MF Haley Kyger, Fr., Coastal Carolina MF Kallie Britton, Jr., Liberty MF Monique Martin, Fr., Gardner-Webb MF Alex Fusco, Fr., Gardner-Webb D Hayley Krause, Jr., Winthrop D Erin O'Hara, So., Campbell D Maura Talvacchia, So., Presbyterian GK Julia Burns, Sr., High Point AL Alyssa Blevins, Sr., Winthrop AL Jen Cosgrove, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina AL Nyra Constant, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Honorable Mention All-Conference GK Jenna Stover, So., Coastal Carolina ATT Katy Richardson, Jr., Presbyterian ATT Katie McHugh, Jr., Longwood D Karley Barreno, R-So., Coastal Carolina GK Juliann Elmer, Jr., Liberty
All-Academic Team Erin O'Hara, So., D, Campbell Maddy Ciardi, Jr., D, Coastal Carolina Samantha Brown, So., ATT, High Point Sam Struss, Sr., ATT, Liberty Liz Trainer, Sr., MF, Longwood Maggie Richardson, Sr., MF/D, Presbyterian Logan McCarthy, Jr., MF, Winthrop
Offensive Player of the Year Jenna Kasmarik, Sr., ATT, Winthrop
Defensive Player of the Year Maddy Ciardi, Jr., D, Coastal Carolina
Freshman of the Year Alaina Girani, GK, Winthrop
Coach of the Year John Sung, Winthrop
Scholar-Athlete of the Year Liz Trainer, Sr., MF, Longwood
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