ROSSLYN, VA. - The 2011 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 at the Holiday Inn in Rosslyn, Virginia. Loyola senior Grace Gavin was named the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year for the second straight season, while Greyhounds head coach Jen Adams garnered BIG EAST Coach of Year honors. Georgetown senior Logan McCraw was tabbed BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, while sophomore teammate Sophia Thomas was the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year. Syracuse head coach Gary Gait, who helped the Orange garner six all-conference selections, including five first-team picks, also earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors.
Gavin was named the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year after totaling 80 points, including 59 goals and 21 assists. The senior also helped her team clinch its second straight berth to the BIG EAST Championship. In conference play, she had a league-best 40 points and tied for the conference lead with 28 goals. Gavin averaged 5.00 points per game in conference action, more than any other BIG EAST player. She also led the league with nine free-position goals in conference play. In addition to 39 draw controls, Gavin recorded 20 caused turnovers and grabbed 17 ground balls. The senior scored at least two goals and registered at least three points in every game this season. This is the second straight year Gavin has earned BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year honors and the third league player to earn the award multiple times. Gavin is just the second to do it in back-to-back years. In the regular-season finale, Gavin also became the school's all-time leading scorer and has totaled 293 career points.
Thomas was named the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year after helping the Hoyas to the No. 1 seed in the BIG EAST Championship. She ranked among the league leaders in goals with 35 and ranked second on the team with 43 points. Thomas also tallied a team-leading 38 ground balls, along with 23 draw controls. In conference play, Thomas had a team-high 29 points, including 24 goals. She helped the Hoyas average 14.1 goals per game in league action, the second-highest figure in the BIG EAST. Thomas also was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection. She is the first sophomore to win the award since 2005 (Katie Batiuk, Rutgers) and just the second ever. Thomas also is just the third Georgetown player to earn BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year honors joining Ashby Kaestner (2009) and Gloria Lozano (2003).
McCraw was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year after helping Georgetown to the No. 1 seed in the BIG EAST Championship. The Hoyas held their opponents to just 11.3 goals per game and lowered that mark to just 10.0 goals in conference play. McCraw totaled 39 draw controls and ranked among the league leaders. She also had 28 ground balls. The senior played in all 16 games for the Hoyas this year and appeared in every contest since coming to Georgetown in 2007-08. Earlier this year in a 13-10 win over Notre Dame, McCraw had a season-high five ground balls. She also recorded four draw controls against No. 1/1 Maryland this season and six draw controls in the league-opener against Villanova. A first-team all-conference selection, McCraw is the eighth Georgetown recipient to win BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year honors. She joins former Hoyas Bridget Noon (2009), Maggie Koch (2006, 2007), Chloe Asselin (2005), Michi Ellers (2003, 2004) and Caitlin McLean (2001).
Entering her third season with Loyola, Adams earns her first BIG EAST Coach of the Year award. She helped the Greyhounds post a 14-2 mark during the regular-season and a national ranking during the last two months of the year. Ranked as high as No. 3, Loyola has three wins over ranked teams this season. Adams also helped a league-high eight Loyola players earn all-conference honors, including BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year Grace Gavin.
Entering his fourth season with Syracuse, Gait earns his first BIG EAST Coach of the Year honor following a 7-1 mark in league play. The Orange are 10-7 overall and have faced eight nationally ranked opponents this year. Syracuse has been nationally ranked all season, including as high as No. 5. Gait is in his fourth year with the Orange.
The 2011 BIG EAST women's lacrosse championship is a four-team event taking place May 5 and 7 at Georgetown's Multi Sport Field in Washington, D.C. The No. 1 seed Hoyas (9-7, 7-1 BIG EAST) will host the tournament and face No. 4 seed Notre Dame (9-8, 6-2 BIG EAST) on May 5 at 8:15 p.m. ET.
No. 2 seed Syracuse (10-7, 7-1 BIG EAST) will face No. 3 seed Loyola (14-2, 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 second straight year, all three games will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
2011 BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Major Award Winners
BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year
Grace Gavin, Loyola
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Logan McCraw, Georgetown
BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year
Sophia Thomas, Georgetown
BIG EAST Coaches of the Year
Jen Adams, Loyola
Gary Gait, Syracuse
2011 BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse All-Conference Teams
All-BIG EAST First Team
*Shaylyn Blaney, Notre Dame, Sr., M
*Emily Dashiell, Louisville, Sr., M
Jackie Doherty, Notre Dame, Sr., D
Bergan Foley, Louisville, Sr., A
*Grace Gavin, Loyola, Sr., A
Liz Hogan, Syracuse, Sr., GK
Jordy Kirr, Georgetown, Sr., A
Tee Ladouceur, Syracuse, Sr., A
M.E. Lapham, Connecticut, Jr., A
Logan McCraw, Georgetown, Sr., D
Abby Rehfuss, Loyola, Sr., M
Catherine Rodriguez, Syracuse, Sr., D
Maggie Tamasitis, Notre Dame, Jr., A
Sophia Thomas, Georgetown, So., M
Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse, So., A
Katie Webster, Syracuse, Fr., M
All-BIG EAST Second Team^
Kailene Abt, Notre Dame, Sr., M
Kelly Barnes, Georgetown, Jr., D
Becca Block, Syracuse, So., D
Kelsi Bozel, Georgetown, So., M
Kaitlyn Brosco, Notre Dame, Fr., A
Meg Decker, Loyola, Sr., M
Justine Donodeo, Villanova, Jr., M
Kellye Gallagher, Loyola, Sr., D
Ana Heneberry, Loyola, Jr., D
Mary Heneberry, Loyola, Sr., A
Dina Jackson, Georgetown, So., A
Liz Lovejoy, Louisville, Sr., A
Katie Oliverio, Louisville, Jr., A
Marlee Paton, Loyola, Fr., M
Ali Steinberg, Rutgers, Jr., M
Kerry Stoothoff, Loyola, Jr., GK
Marley Welsh, Rutgers, Sr., M
^ an extra member was added to the Second Team due to a tie in voting