May 1, 2013
MORE: 2013 ALC Tournament Preview
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The American Lacrosse Conference doled out its annual year-end awards Wednesday, recognizing a total of five Northwestern veterans on the league's first and second-team all-conference squads.
A trio of seniors -- attacker Erin Fitzgerald and midfielders Taylor Thornton and Gabriella Flibotte -- were among the 12 players named first-team All-ALC while senior midfielder Ali Cassera and junior attacker Alyssa Leonard garnered second-team all-conference accolades.
This is the second straight year in which Northwestern landed three players on the All-ALC first team and a total of five on both teams. Twenty-nine Wildcats have received all-conference distinction since the 2009 season.
With her selection, Thornton (three first-team, one second-team) joins former NU greats Kristen Kjellman
(2004-07), Meredith Frank
(2006-09) and Alex Frank
(2009-12) as the only four-time All-ALC honorees in program history. Fitzgerald earned her second straight first-team laurel. Leonard -- who was the league's Rookie of the Year in 2011 -- joins Cassera and Flibotte as first-time All-ALC honorees.
Fitzgerald carried the banner as Northwestern's leading scorer on attack in her senior campaign, netting 55 goals and 61 points en route to joining the program's career leaders in both categories. The Mt. Sinai, N.Y. native recorded 11 games with three or more goals -- including a run of four straight five-goal performances and a career-best six in a win over Harvard on March 16 -- and also chipped in 20 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers for the 'Cats.
Flibotte patrolled Northwestern's midfield and racked up 36 caused turnovers, tied for the third-best single-season total in school history. She also leads the team in ground balls (46) and is second with 41 draw controls, often sparking the NU attack in transition and adding eight goals and one assist.
As she has since arriving in Evanston as a freshman, Thornton once again excelled at both ends of the field, posting her second straight season of at least 20 goals while adding 35 ground balls, 34 draw controls and 19 caused turnovers. She has joined Northwestern's all-time leaders in all three of those categories, beginning the postseason ranked third in program history in both ground balls and caused turnovers and seventh in draw controls.
A four-year contributor in the Wildcats midfield, Cassera deservedly earns her first all-conference nod, matching her career best with 21 points -- five of which came on her clutch five-goal performance in a 13-12 win over No. 5 Syracuse on March 30. The New Jersey native has posted 19 ground balls -- including six in a 10-8 road victory vs. Notre Dame -- and nine caused turnovers.
Finally, Leonard makes her debut appearance on the All-ALC roster after a year in which she resumed her dominance on the draw circle to the tune of 102 draw controls, eight shy of the Northwestern single-season record. But Leonard also stepped into a new role offensively and flourished, leading the Wildcats with 11 goals and ranking second in both goals (26) and points (37).
The Wildcats will officially receive their all-conference awards later this week at the 2013 American Lacrosse Conference Tournament hosted by Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. All honorees and special awards recipients will be recognized during an on-field ceremony in between Thursday evening's quarterfinal contests.
2013 All-American Lacrosse Conference Honorees
Kitty Cullen, Florida
Taylor D'Amore, Johns Hopkins
Brittany Dashiell, Florida
Sam Farrell, Florida
Erin Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Gabriella Flibotte, Northwestern
Shannon Gilroy, Florida
Katie Guy, Penn State
Kelly Lechner, Penn State
Carly Linthicum, Vanderbilt
Maggie McCormick, Penn State
Taylor Thornton, Northwestern
Ashley Bruns, Florida
Paige Cahill, Vanderbilt
Ali Cassera, Northwestern
Sammy Cermack, Johns Hopkins
Katie Chase, Ohio State
Jackie Cifarelli, Ohio State
Mackenzie Cyr, Penn State
Dene DiMartino, Johns Hopkins
Emily Dohony, Florida
Tayler Kuzma, Ohio State
Alyssa Leonard, Northwestern
Jenna Mosketti, Penn State
ALC Special Award Winners
Offensive Player of the Year: Kitty Cullen, Florida
Midfield Player of the Year: Brittany Dashiell, Florida
Defensive Player of the Year: Sam Farrell, Florida
Goalie of the Year: Mikey Meagher, Florida
Rookie of the Year: Dené DeMartino, Johns Hopkins
Coach of the Year: Amanda O'Leary, Florida
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