SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The 2012 BIG EAST women's lacrosse championship began a weekend of postseason action with a banquet announcing the league's all-conference teams and major award winners. Syracuse junior Michelle Tumolo was named the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year, while Orange head coach Gary Gait garnered BIG EAST Coach of Year honors for the second time. Loyola senior Kellye Gallagher was tabbed BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, while sophomore teammate Marlee Paton was named BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year.
Tumolo was named BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year after totaling 79 points, including 40 goals and 39 assists. The junior also helped her team to a perfect 8-0 record in league play and the No. 1 seed in the BIG EAST Championship. In conference action, Tumolo registered 40 points, including 20 goals and 20 assists to average 5.0 points per game. She also had a pair of game-winning goals. In addition to 19 ground balls, Tumolo had 13 draw controls and 10 caused turnovers. The junior started all 16 games this year and recorded at least two points in 15 contests. The league's Preseason Player of the Year, Tumolo is just the second Syracuse star to earn BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year honors and the school's third winner overall (joining Katie Rowan 2008 and 2009).
In his fifth season with Syracuse, Gait earns his second BIG EAST Coach of the Year honor following an undefeated 8-0 mark in league play. The Orange won the BIG EAST regular-season title for the fifth time in program history, and captured their second outright crown. Syracuse also is the No. 1 seed in the BIG EAST Championship for just the second time. Under the direction of Gait, Tumolo and sophomore Alyssa Murray were among the 25 nominees for the Tewaaraton Trophy. Tumolo led the team in assists (39), while Murray compiled team highs of 59 goals and 87 points. The Orange are 15-2 overall and ranked second in the nation, the highest mark in school history. Syracuse has knocked off nine ranked opponents this season and enters the BIG EAST Championship riding a program-record 14-game winning streak. Gait helped the Orange garner nine all-conference selections, including four first-team picks.
Gallagher was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in ground balls (52) and caused turnovers (43). The senior also led the league in those categories in conference play with 23 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers. Defensively, Loyola held its opponents to just 10.2 goals per game, while averaging a league-leading 11.3 caused turnovers and 19.6 ground balls. Gallagher totaled 13 draw controls and started all 16 games for the Greyhounds. She recorded five or more ground balls in a game six times this year, including a season-high seven ground balls in a 12-11 win over UMBC on March 10. She is the first player in school history to earn BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Paton was named the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year after leading the Conference with 48 points in league play. The sophomore recorded 28 goals and 20 assists in league action and a team-high 74 points (43 goals, 31 assists) in all games. In addition, Paton had 17 ground balls, 14 caused turnovers and 10 draw controls. She recorded a season-high nine points in a game twice this year and has recorded seven hat tricks. During BIG EAST contests, she helped the Greyhounds lead the league in ground balls per game (18.3) and rank second in scoring (15.5) and caused turnovers (10.9). Paton is the third sophomore to win the award. Paton becomes just the second Loyola player to earn Midfielder of the Year accolades, joining Kate McHarg (2006).
The 2012 BIG EAST women's lacrosse championship is a four-team event taking place May 3 and 5 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. The No. 1 seed Orange (15-2, 8-0 BIG EAST) will host the tournament and face No. 4 seed Georgetown (9-7, 5-3 BIG EAST) on May 3 at 8:15 p.m. ET.
No. 2 seed Loyola (11-5, 7-1 BIG EAST) will face No. 3 seed Notre Dame (13-3, 6-2 BIG EAST) in the other semifinal at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET. The winners will face off for the league's tournament championship on May 7 at 1 p.m. and an automatic berth into the 16-team Division I NCAA Championship. For the third straight year, all three games will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
2012 BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Major Award Winners
BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year
Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse, Jr., A
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Kellye Gallagher, Loyola, Sr., D
BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year
Marlee Paton, Loyola, So., M
BIG EAST Coach of the Year
Gary Gait, Syracuse
2012 BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse All-Conference Teams
All-BIG EAST First Team^
Kelly Barnes, Georgetown, Sr., D
*Becca Block, Syracuse, D
Kelsi Bozel, Georgetown, Jr., M
*Kellye Gallagher, Loyola, Sr., D
Ana Heneberry, Loyola, Sr., D
M.E. Lapham, Connecticut, Sr., A
*Alyssa Murray, Syracuse, So., A
*Marlee Paton, Loyola, So., M
Ali Steinberg, Rutgers, Sr., M
Margaret Smith, Notre Dame, So., M
Kerry Stoothoff, Loyola, Sr., GK
Maggie Tamasitis, Notre Dame, Sr., A
Annie Thomas, Loyola, Fr., A
*Sophia Thomas, Georgetown, Jr., M
Sydney Thomas, Loyola, Fr., M
*Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse, Jr., A
Katie Webster, Syracuse, So., M
* unanimous First Team selection
^Due to a tie, an extra member was added to the First Team
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Stephanie Anderson, Rutgers, Jr., M
Linley Block, Syracuse, Jr., D
Nikki Boltja, Louisville, So., A
Alyssa Costantino, Syracuse, So., GK
Justine Donodeo, Villanova, Sr., A
Sarah Holden, Syracuse, Sr., M
Ashley Hunter, Georgetown, Jr., D
Dina Jackson, Georgetown, Jr., A
Lauren Kahn, Connecticut, So., M
Kailah Kempney, Syracuse, Fr., A
Lindsay Powell, Notre Dame, So., A
Hannah Schmitt, Loyola, Fr., A
Janelle Stegeland, Syracuse, Sr., D
Barbara Sullivan, Notre Dame, Fr., D
Megan Sullivan, Notre Dame, Sr., M
Caroline Tarzian, Georgetown, Fr., A