May 1, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - For the first time in program history, four University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse student-athletes have earned first team all-BIG EAST honors as Jenny Granger, Ellie Hilling, Margaret Smith and Barbara Sullivan all received top billing at the BIG EAST women's lacrosse awards banquet on the eve of the 2013 BIG EAST Championship in Washington, D.C., Wednesday night.
Senior Jaimie Morrison joined the foursome as she earned second team all-BIG EAST accolades to give Notre Dame five award winners for the evening.
The all-BIG EAST accolades are the first for Granger, Hilling and Morrison and the second for Smith and Sullivan, who was a unanimous selection. The four first teamers were second in the league behind league champion Syracuse's five.
Notre Dame has totaled 34 first team and 62 total selections since the league was formed in 2001.
Granger turned in an impressive senior campaign as the co-captain started all 16 games and led the Irish in goals (31) and assists (22). She had 10 games with two or more goals, including a streak of nine games in a row from March 2 to April 12. Her season high came when she scored five times and totaled seven points in a thrilling 16-15 double overtime win at Louisville. Granger also had six games with two or more assists, including a season-high four in a 14-5 win over Marquette. She earned a spot on the BIG EAST's Weekly Honor Roll once (March 25) after scoring four goals and dishing out three assists in wins over Rutgers and Villanova.
The East Setauket, N.Y., native sits tied for fourth in the BIG EAST in assists per game (1.38), sixth in points per game (3.31) and 10th in goals a game (1.94).
Hilling had a spectacular senior season between the pipes, starting all 16 games, as she secured her place in the Irish record books by taking over first in school goalie history for minutes played (4,091:58), games played (70), games won (44) and saves (522). She also sits second in goals-against average (9.79) and seventh in save percentage (.439).
The Rochester, N.Y., product had 12 games with six or more saves, including nine games with double-digit totals. She also had eight games with two or more ground balls, including six in a win over Georgetown, tying her career high. Hilling earned a spot on the BIG EAST's Weekly Honor Roll twice (March 25, April 15) - once after 20 saves and seven ground balls in wins over Rutgers and Villanova and again after 24 saves and eight ground balls in a 1-1 week against Loyola and Georgetown.
Smith turned in another productive all-around year after a third team All-American campaign just a year ago as she registered 14 goals, 35 ground balls, 35 caused draw controls and 33 caused turnovers, while starting all 16 games. She is first in caused turnovers, second in draw controls, third in ground balls and tied for sixth in goals on the team. Smith also places first in the BIG EAST and eighth nationally in caused turnovers per game (2.06).
The Westminster, Md., had a goal in nine games, including a season-high four goals in a 13-8 win over Ohio State. She also recorded two or more ground balls in 11 games, two or more draw controls in nine games and two or more caused turnovers in nine games.
Smith earned BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week accolades March 4 after scoring six goals, collecting five ground balls and six draw controls and causing eight turnovers in wins over Ohio State and Duquesne. The co-captain also earned a spot on the BIG EAST's Weekly Honor Roll after collecting eight ground balls and causing nine turnovers in a 1-1 week against Northwestern and Marquette.
Despite earning first team all-region and second team all-BIG EAST honors a year ago, Sullivan is considered by many to have had a breakout campaign in her second year in the Irish blue and gold. Not only did she lead the Irish in ground balls (49) and draw controls (62) and finish second in caused turnovers (32), but she also led the BIG EAST in ground balls per game (3.06), was second in caused turnovers per game (2.00) and third in draw controls per game (3.88). Nationally, Sullivan was seventh in ground balls per game, ninth in caused turnovers per game and 23rd in draw controls per game.
Sullivan started all 16 games and had two or more ground balls in 14 games, two or more draw controls in 12 games and two or more caused turnovers in 10 or more games. She tied the school record with nine draw controls in a 12-11 win at Vanderbilt and had a remarkable six or more draw controls in six games. The Garden City, N.Y., native also came within two each of tying the school record for most ground balls and most caused turnovers in a game.
The Tewaaraton Trophy nominee earned a spot on the BIG EAST's Weekly Honor Roll three times this season - once after 12 ground balls, two draw controls and seven caused turnovers in wins over Detroit and Boston, another time after five ground balls and nine draw controls in a win over Vanderbilt and finally after seven ground balls, 10 draw controls and seven caused turnovers in victories over Louisville and Cincinnati.
Sullivan also chipped in the first two goals and assists of her career and broke the school record for draw controls in a season with 62. She also sits in a tie for eighth in school history with 32 caused turnovers.
Morrison gave the Irish a solid one, two senior punch with Granger on offense, as she finished tied for second on the team in goals (26), was second in assists (19) and points (45). In the BIG EAST the Yorktown Heights, N.Y., native placed seventh in the league in assists per game (1.27) and 10th in points per game (3.00). She earned a spot on the BIG EAST's Weekly Honor Roll three times - once after four goals and four assists in wins over Ohio State and Duquesne, once after six goals and two assists in two wins over Detroit and Boston and once after four goals and five points in a 16-15 double overtime win at Louisville.
Notre Dame (12-4, 5-3 BIG EAST), despite not making the BIG EAST Championship, appears in prime position to earn an at-large spot in the upcoming 26-team NCAA Championship. Notre Dame is ninth in the IWLCA Coaches Poll, 13th in the deBeer Media Poll and 14th in the RPI.
The Irish will find out their NCAA fate at 9 p.m. Sunday night with the NCAA.com selection show.
2013 BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Awards
All-BIG EAST Second Team All-Conference
BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Major Award Winners
Midfielder of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Coach of the Year