May 25, 2012
Womenslax.com Postseason Awards Announcement
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Ahead of taking the field in Stony Brook for its eighth straight NCAA semifinal appearance, members of Northwestern women's lacrosse collected numerous regional and national postseason awards this week.
Junior defender Taylor Thornton (Dallas, Texas/Hockaday School), a Tewaaraton Award finalist and the American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year, was the recipient of the National Player of the Year honor as announced by Womenslax.com on Friday. Thornton has scored a career-best 30 goals on the season -- fourth-most on the Wildcats roster -- and leads the team with 53 ground balls, good for the fifth-highest single-season total in NU lacrosse history.
Thornton also was one of three Wildcats named to the list of Womenslax.com All-Americans, along with senior attacker Shannon Smith (West Babylon, N.Y.) and senior defender Alex Frank (Westwood, Mass./Westwood). Smith has ranked among the nation's leaders all season with 64 goals and 86 points, establishing herself as Northwestern's all-time leading goal-scorer in the process (252).
Frank's defensive prowess has been the source of 34 caused turnovers this season, the third-highest single-season total in NU lacrosse history, while scooping up 39 ground balls. Together, Frank and Thornton have been among the leaders on a defense that has held opponents to just 7.23 goals per game.
On Thursday, the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) announced its list of 128 All-Region honorees, which saw four Wildcats garner first-team All-West Region accolades and a fifth on the second team. Thornton, Frank and Smith as well as junior attacker Erin Fitzgerald (Mt. Sinai, N.Y./Mt. Sinai) were tabbed to the first team while senior defender Lacey Vigmostad (Northport, N.Y./Northport) garnered second-team laurels.
Fitzgerald, a second-team selection as a sophomore in 2011, is second on the squad with 53 goals and has 22 ground balls while Vigmostad, like Thornton, contributed at both ends of the field with 14 goals, 40 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers.
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