April 22, 2009

Dykstra, Kearns Top PL Award Winners

from press release

The 2009 Patriot League Women's Lacrosse major award winners were announced on Wednesday, with Colgate and Lehigh earning two awards each while Bucknell picked up the remaining honor. Lehigh sophomore attacker Lauren Dykstra was named Offensive Player of the Year, while Colgate senior defender Maddie Kearns was named Defensive Player of the Year. Bucknell sophomore Alyssa DeLorenz was honored as the Goalkeeper of the Year, while Lehigh freshman attacker Kelly Draper was named Rookie of the Year. Colgate's Heather Bliss was selected as Coach of the Year. The awards were voted on by the League's seven head coaches, who could not vote for their own players.

Dykstra is the first Mountain Hawk to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors since Jill Altshuler earned the award in 1996. The sophomore led the League in goals per game (4.00), game winning goals (six), ground balls per game (4.88) and shots per game (8.19) as she helped lead Lehigh to the nation's 18th-best scoring offense. Her 131 career goals are within 13 of cracking the Patriot League's top-10 all-time goals list. Dykstra picked up four Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week awards as Lehigh finished the season with an 11-5 overall record, a 4-2 League mark and the Patriot League Tournament's second seed. Dykstra is also a two-time First-Team All-League selection.

Kearns is the fifth Raider to take home Defensive Player of the Year honors, and the first since Heidi Ross won in 2005. The senior anchored a staunch Raider defense that allowed just 8.25 goals per game, the fifth-best ranking in the country. Kearns also earned a Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor as she helped the defending champion Raiders earn the No. 1 seed in this weekend's Patriot League Tournament.

DeLorenz is the first Bucknell Bison to win Goalkeeper of the Year accolades since the award's inception in 2005. The sophomore helped Bucknell get off to a quick, 4-0 Patriot League mark this season on its way to earning the No. 4 seed in the tournament. DeLorenz earned four Goalkeeper of the Week honors and has a 10.66 goals-against average and 49.1 save percentage with one non-League game remaining on Bucknell's docket. DeLorenz is also second in the League in saves per game at 10.06.

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Draper is the fourth-straight Mountain Hawk to pick up Rookie of the Year honors; teammates Sara MacIntyre (2006), Inneke Carmola (2007) and Dykstra (2008) also won the award for Lehigh. The freshman finished her season tied for fourth in the League with 2.25 goals per game and fourth in ground balls per game at 2.81 as Lehigh picked up the No. 2 seed in this weekend's tournament.

Bliss earned her first Coach of the Year honor as she led the Raiders to a 12-4 overall mark, 5-1 League record and the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Bliss has a 29-26 career record at Colgate, and is the first Raider head coach to win the award since Katrina Silva in 2004 and 2005. Bliss' Raiders led the League in goals per game (13.94), caused turnovers per game (11.25) and save percentage (49.8), along with ranking among the nation's best in points (ninth), scoring offense (12th), scoring margin (seventh) and ground balls per game (third).

The Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Tournament will begin on Friday, April 24 in Hamilton, N.Y., with No. 3 Navy facing No. 2 Lehigh at 2 p.m., followed by No. 1 Colgate hosting No. 4 Bucknell at 5 p.m. The winners of each semifinal game will advance to the title game, scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 26. The entire Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Tournament can be viewed online through Patriot League All-Access for $7.95.

For more information about this year's championship, please visit www.PatriotLeague.com or click here.

2009 Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Major Award Winners

Offensive Player of the Year: Lauren Dykstra, So., Lehigh

Defensive Player of the Year: Maddie Kearns, Sr., Colgate

Goalkeeper of the Year: Alyssa DeLorenz, So., Bucknell

Rookie of the Year: Kelly Draper, Fr., Lehigh

Coach of the Year: Heather Bliss, Colgate

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