CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - In two years since joining the Patriot League, the Loyola University Maryland women’s lacrosse team has made its mark in the conference, going 16-0 in regular-season play and winning a pair of championship titles.
As the Patriot League celebrates a quarter-century of existence, four Greyhounds were named to the Women’s Lacrosse 25th Anniversary Team: defender Maddy Lesher ’16, midfielder Marlee Paton ’14, attacker Annie Thomas ’15 and midfielder Taryn VanThof ’15.
Over the course of their careers at Loyola, which includes time as members of the BIG EAST Conference, the quartet combined for 10 All-America honors, seven conference player of the year honors, 14 all-region laurels and 14 all-conference honors.
Paton was the first of the group to graduate from Loyola, but in her single-season as a Patriot League student-athlete, she led the Greyhounds to their first League title in any sport in the conference, being named Patriot League Tournament MVP in 2014. She was also the Patriot League Midfield Player of the Year in 2014, an honor she earned in 2012 in the BIG EAST.
The native of Australia earned IWLCA All-America honors three times during her career, garnering first team recognition in 2012 and second team honors the following two seasons. She was a four-time IWLCA All-Mid-Atlantic Region honoree and a four-time all-conference player, as well.
Lesher will continue her career with the Greyhounds as a senior in 2016 where she returns to the field as a two-time Patriot League champion. She has earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore and junior in 2014 and 2015, and she is a two-time IWLCA All-America Third Team member in each of those seasons. She is a three-time all-conference honoree and all-region performer, as well.
Thomas graduated from the University in May as the school’s leader in several assist categories: career (148), season (51) and game (7). She was the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior in 2014 and 2015, earning third and second-team All-America honors each of those years, too. Thomas was a four-time all-conference and all-region performer, as well, for Loyola.
VanThof was named the Patriot League Midfielder of the Year as a senior in 2015, months after becoming a part of the U.S. National Team. She set Loyola records in draw controls for her career (318), in a season (122) and in a game (15) during her four years with the Greyhounds, and she became the seventh three-time All-American in school history, garnering third team recognition from 2013-2015.
The Patriot League is releasing 25th Anniversary Teams throughout the month of August for each sport that has been sponsored by the League since it became an all-sport conference beginning in the 1990-91 season. In addition to the 25th Anniversary Teams, coverage throughout the 2015-16 season will focus on former student-athletes and top stories in the history of the Patriot League.