May 2, 2012
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Senior Kellye Gallagher was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, while sophomore Marlee Paton was voted the league’s midfielder of the year, highlighting the Loyola University Maryland’s seven 2012 All-BIG EAST Team honorees. Seniors Ana Heneberry and Kerry Stoothoff, in addition to freshmen Annie Thomas and Sydney Thomas, joined Gallagher and Paton on the first team, while freshman Hannah Schmitt was honored on the second team.
Gallagher – the first player in school history to earn BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year honors – led the league in ground balls (52) and caused turnovers (43). She also led the league in those categories in conference play with 23 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers. Gallagher totaled 13 draw controls and started all 16 games for the Greyhounds. She recorded five or more ground balls in a game six times this year, including a season-high seven ground balls in a 12-11 win over UMBC (March 10).
Paton – the second Loyola player to earn Midfielder of the Year accolades, joining Kate McHarg (2006) – led the conference with 48 points in league play. She recorded 28 goals and 20 assists in leading Loyola to a program-best 7-1 BIG EAST record. She tallied a team-high 74 points throughout the year on 43 goals and 31 assists, while tacking on 17 ground balls, 14 caused turnovers and 10 draw controls. She recorded a season-high nine points in a game twice this year and has had seven hat tricks. Paton is the third sophomore to win the award in conference history.
Heneberry – the league’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year – joined Gallagher and Stoothoff as three of five defenders honored on the league’s first team. The squad’s top mark-up defender, Heneberry ranked second in the conference, behind Gallagher, in caused turnovers (32) and was third on the team with 25 ground balls. In addition, Heneberry and Gallagher became the second and third players, respectively, in program history to reach 100 career ground balls and 100 career caused turnovers. This marks Heneberry’s third-straight year being named to the All-BIG EAST team, while it is her first first-team honor.
Stoothoff – the league’s top goalkeeper – anchored a Loyola defense that held opponents to just 10.2 goals per game, while averaging a league-leading 11.3 caused turnovers and 19.6 ground balls per game. Stoothoff has turned back 125 shot this season and has posted 19 career double-digit save games, recording 488 saves throughout her career – a mark that currently ranks fifth in school history. This marks the second-straight year that Stoothoff has been voted to the All-BIG EAST team, while it is her first first-team selection.
Annie Thomas broke Loyola’s all-time freshman record for assists, dishing out 23 helpers this season. She also ranks third all time among Loyola rookies in points, contributing 57 this year. She’s currently second on the team in assists and third in goals, with 34, and was named a WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week and to the BIG EAST Honor Roll after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime at No. 13 Georgetown to open conference play.
Sydney Thomas ranks second all-time, behind Annie Thomas, among freshman in assists, dishing out 19 this season. Thomas was the first player to record four goals in a game this year – scoring four in an overtime win at No. 12 Penn State, earning her WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week honors. The freshman is tied for third on the team with 39 points, totaling 20 goals and 19 assists this year.
Schmitt is second on the team with 35 goals this season, registering 39 points so far. She scored a career-high six goals against No. 2 Syracuse – including back-to-back goals within seven seconds to fall one second shy of the NCAA record for consecutive goals (:06), and was named the WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week after notching four goals in a win over No. 6 Notre Dame. She was also named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll after leading the Greyhounds with a hat trick in her first collegiate game at then-No. 10 Virginia.
Loyola will open play in the 2012 BIG EAST Championships on Thursday, May 3. The Greyhounds – the tournament’s second seed – will face No. 6 Notre Dame – the third seed – in Syracuse’s Carrier Dome at 5:30 p.m. The game will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.