April 30, 2014
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Louisville made BIG EAST women’s lacrosse history on Wednesday by becoming the first team in league history to sweep all four major awards. In her seventh season at the helm, Kellie Young was the unanimous choice as BIG EAST Coach of the Year, while senior Nikki Boltja was the uncontested selection for BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year. Kaylin Morissette was tabbed BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year while Monica Negron rounded out the honorees as BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year.
In just their sixth season in the conference, Young coached the Cardinals to a flawless 7-0 record in BIG EAST play and enter the BIG EAST Championship 13-3 overall as the No. 1 seed. Prior to 2014, UofL had never finished better than .500 in BIG EAST contests and qualified for the league tournament just once (2009). The Cardinals, ranked 17th in both major polls, lead the BIG EAST and are among the national leaders in points, scoring offense, scoring defense, scoring margin, caused turnovers, draw controls and ground balls.
Boltja has been a major factor in that high-powered Louisville offense, ranking fourth nationally in points (81; 5.06 per game) and is the nation’s No. 2 goal scorer at 3.81 per game. The five-time BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week was named a Tewaaraton Award nominee last week and has scored at least two points in every game this season and eclipsed the five-point mark 11 times in 2014.
Morissette has been key to Louisville’s transition game which has caused such problems for the opposing teams’ defense. In addition to racking up 44 points on 33 goals and 11 assists, the Tewaaraton Award nominee is one of just eight players in the country to eclipse the century mark for draw controls, ranking second at 8.88 per game. Morissette has added 25 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers as well and is 11-of-22 in free position shots.
Negron, who was tabbed the BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, has helped the Cardinals to league-best averages for goals against (8.07) and caused turnovers (9.44). She has totaled 17 CT and 28 GB so far this season, having started all 16 games for Louisville. The senior also has 42 draw controls to her credit. Negron and the Cardinal D have limited opponents to just 16.8 shots per game.
All four major awards are the first in Louisville women’s lacrosse program history.
The BIG EAST Championship field dominated the All-BIG EAST First Team as Louisville occupied seven of the 16 spots, while Connecticut had four selections, Georgetown had three and Rutgers boasted two. Boltja, Morissette and Negron were all unanimous All-BIG EAST First-Team selections, as was teammate Faye Brust and Georgetown’s Kelyn Freedman and Adrianne Devine. Brust ranks second in the conference in goals per game (3.69), while Devine and Freedman rank second and fourth, respectively, in caused turnovers per game.
Marquette and Temple tied for most selections to the All-BIG EAST Second Team with four apiece, while Georgetown added three. Connecticut and Villanova each had two second-team nods, while Louisville and Rutgers placed one apiece on the squad.
Twenty three members of the All-BIG EAST Teams are slated to compete this week at the 2014 BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Championship. No. 1 Louisville and No. 4 Rutgers will kick things off at 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, followed by No. 2 Georgetown against No. 3 Connecticut. All games will be played at Georgetown’s Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C. A free live stream of both semifinal games can be seen on BIGEAST.com, while FOX Sports 2 will air the final on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. For more on the BIG EAST Championship, click HERE.
BIG EAST Coach of the Year
Kellie Young, Louisville*
BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year
Nikki Boltja, Senior, Louisville*
BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year
Kaylin Morissette, Sophomore, Louisville
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Monica Negron, Senior, Louisville
All-BIG EAST First Team
*Nikki Boltja, Louisville, Sr., A
*Faye Brust, Louisville, Jr., A
Cortnee Daley, Louisville, So., M
*Adrianne Devine, Georgetown, Jr., D
*Kelyn Freedman, Georgetown, Sr., M
Chelsea Intrabartola, Rutgers, Sr., D
Lauren Kahn, Connecticut, Sr., M
Lauren Kwasnowski, Connecticut, So., D
Steph McNamara, Louisville, Fr., D
*Kaylin Morissette, Louisville, M
Shannon Nee, Connecticut, GK
*Monica Negron, Louisville, Sr., D
Kacey Pippitt, Connecticut, Sr., A
Jamie Redding, Louisville, Sr., A
Lauren Sbrilli, Rutgers, R-Jr., M
Caroline Tarzian, Georgetown, Jr., A
* unanimous selection
All-BIG EAST Second Team^
Hayley Baas, Marquette, So., M
Amanda Bochniak, Marquette, Fr., A
Maggie Brown, Georgetown, Sr., D
Megan Clements, Rutgers, Sr., A
Ali Crofts, Connecticut, So., M
Corinne Etchison, Georgetown, So., A
Kate Finkleston, Connecticut, So., A
Hannah Franklin, Georgetown, Sr., M
Elizabeth Goslee, Marquette, So., D
Leslee Hefner, Louisville, Sr., D
Chelsey Henderson, Villanova, So., M
Jaqi Kakalecik, Temple, R-So., GK
Jess Mucci, Villanova, Jr., A
Maddie McTigue, Temple, So., D
Sarah Priem, Marquette, GK
Jaymie Tabor, Temple, Sr., A
Nicole Tiernan, Temple, So., M
^Due to a tie in voting, an additional member was added to the Second Team
the Second Team