Feb. 11, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern junior Alyssa Leonard (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore) of the women's lacrosse team and senior Jason Welch (Walnut Creek, Calif./Las Lomas) of the wrestling team have been named NU's Hilton Garden Inn Athletes of the Week for their performances over the weekend.
Leonard proved why she is among the top draw specialists in the country on opening weekend, collecting 24 total draw controls in Northwestern wins vs. UMass and USC. She opened the year with nine draw controls against the Minutewomen before recording 15 against the Trojans, tying the NCAA Division I single-game record and obliterating the previous NU record of 10. Her performance over the two games vaulted her from seventh to second on NU's career draw controls list and now stands at 205, which places her among the top 15 all-time in Division I women's lacrosse. Leonard also took an increased role in the Wildcats offense, scoring a career-best three points in each game.
Welch, ranked No. 2 nationally at 157 pounds, picked up two major decision wins in a pair of NU duals last week, beginning with an 8-0 shutout of Andrew Morse in a 36-6 Northwestern defeat of Northern Illinois. On Sunday, Welch celebrated Senior Day with a convincing 19-7 victory against Matt Nora of rival Illinois, the 106th win of his career and his last on the mat at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
This week's Community Outreach Athlete of the Week is senior Janelle Li-A-Ping (New York, N.Y./Loyola School) of the cross country team. Li-A-Ping was one of several Northwestern student-athletes to participate in National Girls and Women in Sports Day festivities Sunday prior to the Northwestern women's basketball game. She and her fellow Wildcats sat down to talk with groups of young girls to tell them about the athletic and professional opportunities available to them in the world of sports.
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