May 12, 2014
BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland women’s lacrosse team placed five Greyhounds on the IWLCA All-Mid-Atlantic Region team, as announced by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Monday.
Loyola leads the way with five all-region performers on the two teams, while Johns Hopkins, Penn and Princeton each placed four on the two squads. The Greyhounds also lead the way with four first-team honorees, while Johns Hopkins has three.
Paton concluded her career as one of the best all-around players in Loyola women’s lacrosse history this season. Already a two-time All-American, the Seaholme, Australia native earned her fourth All-Mid-Atlantic Region honor to go with four all-conference accolades and two conference midfielder of the year awards (BIG EAST 2012, Patriot League 2014). Statistically, she’s the first player in program history to reach the 100-mark plateau in goals, points, ground balls (138), draw controls (104) and caused turnovers, finishing her career ranked in the top-five at Loyola in goals (fifth, 180), assists (tied second, 97), points (fourth, 277) and caused turnovers (fourth, 116).
Thomas, the Patriot League Attacker of the Year and three-time all-region selection, led the team in points and assists this year, dishing out 39 helpers to go with 40 goals for 79 points. Her 39 assists were the most for a Greyhound since Erika Mawhorr set the school record at 46 in 1993, while her 79 points is tied for the 10th-best single-season output in program history. The Bel Air, Md., native also cracked into Loyola’s all-time top-10 career records this year and will enter her senior season ranked tied for second with 97 assists and eighth with 201 points.
VanThof, a third-team All-American last year, dominated the draw for Loyola this year and became the first Greyhound to win more than 100 in a season. With 122 draws, she shattered the 30-year-old single-season school record set by Rita Ciletti at 76 in 1984 (and tied by Michelle Meyer in 1994). She also broke the school and Patriot League single-game record by winning 15 at Lafayette (she also tied that at Boston University) and became the program’s new career record holder by winning 227 draws in just three seasons. VanThof finished the year with a point in every game, contributing 31 goals and 40 points, while she also led the team in ground balls (42) and was second with 46 caused turnovers.
Lesher, the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, was Loyola’s top mark-up defender this year. In eight conference games, the sophomore from Gladwyne, Pa., limited her personal match-ups to just four goals, with no one scoring more than once against her. In addition, she anchored a defense that held 14 opponents to eight-goals-or-less, including seven to five or less, while the unit ranked 11th in the NCAA with an 8.11 goals-against average. The two-time all-region honoree finished the year with 25 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers.
Schmitt is earning her second All-Mid-Atlantic Region honor after finishing the year third on the team with 39 goals and 49 points. Hailing from Malvern, Pa., Schmitt has not only been an offensive threat for the Greyhounds, she has been instrumental to Loyola’s transition game, as well. Scoring six goals in the season opener at No. 6 Virginia, the attacker also tallied eight points on five goals and three assists in the Patriot League opener at Lafayette. She notched seven hat tricks throughout the year and had at least one point in all but three games, including multiple points through 13 contests. A three-time all-conference honoree, Schmitt earned various weekly honors for her performances this year, including Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, Baltimore Sun National Lacrosse Player of the Week and Rockin’ Refuel Performer of the Week.
Loyola concluded the year with a 15-6 overall record – the second-most wins in a season under head coach Jen Adams - and an 8-0 mark in its inaugural season in the Patriot League. The Greyhounds became the first program at Loyola to win a Patriot League Championship and they advanced to their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament, where they won their first game in the championships for a program-best fourth-straight year.