Nov. 7, 2013
STORRS, Conn. -
Old Dominion junior forward Rosario Villagra has been named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year for field hockey by a vote of the league's head coaches. Teammate Christy Longacre was selected BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. Louisville forward Shannon Sloss was tabbed BIG ESAT Rookie of the Year. The Old Dominion coaches were named BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year. The announcements were made at the annual BIG EAST Championship banquet, which is held at the site of the championship.
The All-BIG EAST First and Second Teams also were announced.
The BIG EAST Championship for field hockey will be held Nov. 8 and 10 at the George J. Sherman Complex on the campus of the University of Connecticut. No. 1 seed UConn will play No. 4 seed Temple on Friday at 5 p.m. ET. No. 2 seed Old Dominion will play No. 3 seed Louisville at 7:30. The two winners will play for the BIG EAST title Sunday at noon. The conference champion earns a bid to the 2013 NCAA Championship. UConn, ODU and Louisville finished in a three-way tie for first place with 6-1 records. The Huskies got the top seed because of the highest goal differential in league games.
Villagra, a junior from Salta, Argentina, paced the Lady Monarchs in scoring with 41 points on 14 goals and 13 assists. Her point total was tied for first in the BIG EAST. She led all league players with five game-winning goals. Her 2.28 points per game average ranked second in the conference.
Longacre, a senior from Bethlehem, Pa., led a Lady Monarch defensive effort that allowed only 25 goals in the regular season, the lowest goal total in the BIG EAST. ODU shut out seven of its last nine opponents. In 2012, she was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year.
In her rookie season, Sloss helped the Cardinals tie for first place in the BIG EAST by scoring 10 goals and adding two assists for 22 points. A freshman from Peequea, Pa., she ranked second on the team in scoring for the regular season and 10th in the BIG EAST.
Led by first-year head coach Andrew Griffiths, the Lady Monarchs ended the regular season on an 11-game winning streak, which included seven shutouts. They won a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title.
Connecticut placed a league-high five players on the All-BIG EAST First Team, including midfielder Roisin Upton, who was a unanimous selection. Other unanimous picks were Villagra, Longacre and ODU teammate Kelsey Smither.
2013 BIG EAST Field Hockey Awards
BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year
Rosario Villagra - Old Dominion University
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Christy Longacre - Old Dominion University
BIG EAST Rookie of the Year
Shannon Sloss - University of Louisville
BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year
Old Dominion University
All-BIG EAST First Team^
Sarah Mansfield, Connecticut, GK
*Christy Longacre, Old Dominion, B
Alyssa Voelmle, Louisville, B
*Kelsey Smither, Old Dominion, MF
*Roisin Upton, Connecticut, MF
*Rosario Villagra, Old Dominion, F
Chloe Hunnable, Connecticut, F
Amber Youtz, Temple, At-Large
Erin Schneidtmiller, Louisville, At-Large
Marie Elena Bolles, Connecticut, At-Large
Kate Malone, Providence, At-Large
Anna Jeute, Connecticut, At-Large
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Lizzy Millen, Temple, GK
Maddy Harding, Villanova, B
Sophia Walia, Rutgers, B
Sarah Breen, Old Dominion, MF
Sophie Wright, Rutgers, MF
Molly Doyle, Temple, F
Daniella Bernasconi, Providence, F
Henni Tietze, Providence, At-Large
Elisa Garcia, Louisville, At-Large
Chrissy Davidson, Connecticut, At-Large
Sydney King, Louisville, At-Large
*Denotes unanimous selection
^Due to a tie in the voting, another position was added.