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Courtesy: Marist Athletics

Head Coach O’Brien And Rookie Witczak Claim MAAC Women’s Lacrosse Major Awards

Courtesy: Marist Athletics
         
Release: May 01, 2014
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EDISON, N.J. – At this year’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) women’s lacrosse awards show, Marist head coach Jessica O'Brien was honored as the Anaconda Sports Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and freshman Abigail Witczak (Mendham, N.J.) was named the MAAC Rookie of the Year. Seven Red Foxes, including Witczak, earned All-MAAC Team honors while 14 were named to the MAAC All-Academic Team.

After leading her team to a regular season record of 13-3 and 7-1 record in the MAAC, O’Brien was voted by her peers as Coach of the Year for the second straight year. The 13 wins breaks a single-season program record for wins in a single season. O’Brien and the Red Foxes claimed a share of the MAAC Regular Season title for the first time in program history as well as the number one seed heading into the MAAC Tournament for the first time. O’Brien also led her Red Foxes on a 10 game-winning streak, breaking the longest winning streak in program history, previously set in 2009 with five wins.

Freshman goalkeeper Witczak, the 2014 MAAC Rookie of the Year, started in the goal for Marist in all 16 games during her freshman campaign. She finished the regular season ranked second in the MAAC in goals against average allowing 8.34 and third in save percentage with a .463 percentage. The 5-2 Mendham, N.J. native was named MAAC Rookie of the Week three times and MAAC defensive player of the week twice in 2014.

Three players, seniors Jamie Romano (Kings Park, N.Y.), Bailey Knapton (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and sophomore Allison Gionta (Eastport, N.Y.) were named to the All-MAAC First Team.  Romano finished second on the team with 41 points with 36 goals and 5 assists. Romano broke her own single-season record for draw controls with 83 this season. Knapton anchored a stout Marist defense that forced 112 turnovers and allowed 8.57 goals per game. Gionta led Marist with 52 points scoring 38 goals and dishing out 14 assists. 

Kara McHugh (Madison, Conn.), Christine Astarita (Kennett Square, Pa.), Tina Pumo (Oceanside, N.Y.), and Witczak were named to the All-MAAC Second Team. Mchugh tallied 39 points and scored 24 goals and 15 assists. Astarita forced 10 turnovers and finished second on the team with 29 ground balls. Pumo forced 10 turnovers and led the team with 30 ground balls.    

In recognition of their strong freshman campaigns, Witczak and Natalie Bonaroti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) were named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team. Bonaroti started six of the 12 games she competed in scoring five goals and assisting on two. 

Academically, the Red Foxes ranked first in the conference in MAAC All-Academic selections with 15. The Red Foxes named were seniors Bailey Knapton (Digital Media), Tierney Larson (Fairfield, CT/ Business Administration-Marketing), Jamie Romano (Psychology Special Education), Brooke Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y/Political Science), juniors Christine Astarita (Business Administration-Marketing), Lexi Brannigan (Loudonville, N.Y./Psychology Special Education), Sheri Fauvell (Moorestown, N.J./Fashion Design and Merchandise), Liz Holmes (Longmeadow, Mass.), Emily Leonard (Brookfield, CT/Biomedical Sciences), Tina Pumo (Psychology Special Education), Erin Schroeder (Vero Beach, Fla./Athletic Training), Kirsten Viscount (Smithtown, N.Y./Psychology Special Education), and sophomores Kaitlyn Brown (Port Washington, N.Y./Business Administration), Kacey Carter (Lynbrook, N.Y./Athletic Training), Anna Petrunich (Westborough, Mass./Fashion Design and Merchandise). To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale.

The top-seeded Red Foxes will begin play at the 2014 MAAC Championship on Friday, May 2 against Monmouth.  The contest is set to begin at 5 p.m. at Demske Sports Complex at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.

All-MAAC First Team

Attack

 

Tori Quinn

Canisius College

Allison Gionta

Marist College

Kyra Ochwat

Quinnipiac University

Midfield

 

Maria Kotas

Canisius College

Melanie Raso

Fairfield University

Jamie Romano

Marist College

Ashley Bull

Canisius College

Allison Stathius

Monmouth University

Defense

 

Bailey Knapton

Marist College

Erin Hogan

Fairfield University

Meghan Reda

Fairfield University

Gabby Kotas

Canisius College

Vicki Kuhn

Quinnipiac University

Goalkeeper

 

Chelsey Sidaras

Fairfield University

All-MAAC Second Team

Attack

 

Taylor Giglio

Canisius College

Jenna Slowey

Fairfield University

Carrie Jo Farrugia

Niagara University

Midfield

 

Kara McHugh

Marist College

Kayla Smith

Niagara University

Megan Yarusso

Manhattan College

Julia Sirianni

Siena College

Meghan Cuddy

Canisius College

Defense

 

Sami Franco

Canisius College

Angela Grous

Iona College

Christine Astarita

Marist College

Tina Pumo

Marist College

Goalkeeper

 

Abigail Witczak

Marist College

Christina Fiorinelli

Manhattan College

All-Rookie Team

Riley Hellstein

Fairfield University

Erin Pugh

Iona College

Claudia LaMarca

Monmouth University

Kelly Babstock

Quinnipiac University

Briana Sirianni

Siena College

Ashley Heisler

Canisius College

Alex Fehmel

Fairfield University

Abigail Witczak

Marist College

Natalie Bonaroti

Marist College

Kara Martin

Niagara University

Cara McQuillan

Siena College

Taylor Wolf

Niagara University