NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – On the heels of its sixth consecutive undefeated regular season in league play, the Massachusetts Minutewomen claimed four major awards as the Atlantic 10 Conference announced its yearly women’s lacrosse honors on Thursday in advance of the 2015 A-10 Lacrosse Championship.
UMass’ Erika Eipp was named the A-10 Offensive Player of the Year, while goalkeeper Rachel Vallarelli was named Defensive Player of the Year. Their teammate Hannah Murphy was tabbed as the A-10 Midfielder of the Year, while the trio’s head coach Angela McMahon was honored by her peers as the A-10 Coach of the Year.
Joining the UMass quartet on the major awards list was Kim Egizi of Richmond who was named Rookie of the Year.
Eipp has registered a league-best 61 points on the season on 34 goals and 27 assists. Eipp averaged 5.25 points per games against A-10 opponents, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 22 assists. Three of her goals turned out to be game-winners against A-10 foes.
Vallarelli leads not only the Atlantic 10, but the NCAA in goals against (5.91) average and save percentage (.535). Vallarelli backstops the top scoring defense in the nation and her career 6.55 goals against average is currently fifth best in the history of the NCAA. She was honored as A-10 Defensive Player of the Week four times and she has given up just 38 goals in eight games.
Murphy enters this weekend’s A-10 Championship with a team high 39 goals, and 96 draws (seventh in NCAA). Murphy has grabbed 56 draw controls in A-10 play alone, while scoring 20 goals in eight league games this year as well.
Egizi has started every game since arriving on the Richmond campus and has registered 40 points during her debut season. Egizi scored 22 goals and added 18 assists. She also grabbed 20 draw controls and 19 draw controls and was and was named A-10 Rookie of the Week on four different occasions.
McMahon earns her fourth consecutive A-10 Coach of the Year honor following a season in which she led her squad to a 16-1 overall record and an 8-0 mark in the A-10. UMass (16-1 / 8-0 A-10) garners the top seed in this weekend’s A-10 Championship by virtue of its sixth-straight undefeated regular season in league play. The Minutewomen have now won 36 consecutive regular season games against league foes and 46 overall including A-10 Championship contests.
The George Washington University will serve as host for the 2015 Atlantic 10 Championship at GW’s Athletic Field, Mt. Vernon Complex.
Massachusetts will face George Mason on Friday at 1:00 p.m. in the first semifinal. Richmond and Duquesne will tangle in the other semifinal at 3:30 on Friday. The winners of Friday's semis will advance to the championship final on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. The winner of that game stakes claim to the A-10 automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.