June 13, 2011
2011 IWLCA Individual Awards -- Complete Release
EVANSTON, Ill. -- A pair of Northwestern players were recognized as the top Division I performers at their positions during the annual Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-American banquet Saturday evening. Junior Shannon Smith took home the award for Attacker of the Year in Division I while sophomore Taylor Thornton was named Defender of the Year.
National champion Northwestern and runner-up Maryland split the four major positional awards doled out by the IWLCA, with Terrapins Katie Schwarzmann and Brittany Dipper being named the Midfielder and Goalkeeper of the Year, respectively.
The coaches association also spotlighted positional players of the year in Division II and Division III as well as Community Awareness and Scholar-Athletes of the Year at each level.
Already with the Tewaaraton Award and Lacrosse Honda Sports Award to her credit, Smith was an easy choice for Attacker of the Year after leading the nation in points with 128, the seventh-best single-season total in Division I history. She set the Northwestern single-season goals record with 86, including 18 in NU's four-game run to its sixth national title in seven years on her way to NCAA Championship MVP recognition.
A first-team All-American selection in 2011, Thornton established herself as a lock-down defender and one of the elite two-way players during her sophomore campaign. She set career bests in goals (14), draw controls (49) and ground balls (38) and earned All-Tournament team recognition in the NCAA and ALC Championship. Thornton drew National Player of the Week honors from Inside Lacrosse after scoring a remarkable game-winning goal in overtime against No. 3 North Carolina on Feb. 25.
The complete list of Division I, II and III IWLCA individual award winners can be found in a PDF at the top of the page.
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