Wednesday, April 29, 2009

University of Albany Places Four Players on 2009 America East All-Conference Women's Lacrosse Team - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Cambridge, Mass. – University at Albany’s Kayla Best leads a group of four players who have been chosen to the 2009 America East All-Conference Women’s Lacrosse Team, as announced on Wednesday, April 29 by the conference office. Best was voted all-conference for the third consecutive year, including her second straight first-team selection.

Best, a junior midfielder, ranks sixth among the America East leaders in scoring at 3.47 points per game. She has accounted for 40-plus points for the third year in a row with 41 goals and 11 assists. Best totaled four or more points against seven opponents this season, including a career-high seven (3 goals, 4 assists) against No. 13 New Hampshire. Best has scored at least one goal in 45 consecutive games, the nation’s second-longest streak. She joins Kate Fontana and Sarah Spillett as the only UAlbany players to be selected to the All-America East squad three times.

Nikki Branchini, a sophomore defender, earns first team all-conference recognition for the second consecutive season. Branchini, who was voted 2209 America East Fans’ Choice player of the year, is sixth among the NCAA Division I leaders in draw controls at 4.0 per game. She leads the Great Danes in ground balls (39) and caused turnovers (17), plus has scored four goals. Branchini, who was tabbed America East defender of the week on April 27, helped UAlbany record its first winning campaign since 2000.

A sophomore attacker, Jodi Battaglia makes her first appearance on the all-league unit as a first-team selection. She is third among the UAlbany scoring leaders with 37 goals and four assists. Battaglia scored four or more points on seven occasions this season, including a career-high eight (5 goals, 3 assists) in a league victory at Stony Brook on April 19. She has 60 goals in two seasons as a collegian.

Mel Rorie is a member of the all-conference second team for the first time. Rorie, a sophomore midfielder, is second on the Great Danes in scoring with 37 goals and seven assists, plus has 24 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers. Rorie ranks third among the America East leaders with four game-winning goals. She netted three or more goals against seven opponents.

Melanie Sosnowski and Jenn Primeau were voted to the America East All-Rookie Team. Sosnowski totaled 14 goals and five assists from her attack position. Primeau, a defensive midfielder, totaled 14 ground balls, five caused turnovers and one goal in 15 appearances.

Katie Neer, Rory Redmond, Julie Bush and Branchini were each selected to the America East all-academic team. Neer, a senior goalkeeper who has made 131 saves, owns a 3.63 cumulative GPA in political science with a dual minor in business administration and women’s studies. Redmond, who has a 3.62 GPA in communication with a dual minor in sociology and education, has 13 goals and four assists as a midfielder. Bush, who has 12 goals and a team-leading 19 assists, has a 3.69 GPA in communication with a minor in business administration. Branchini has earned a 3.83 GPA in history with a minor in education.

UAlbany has produced 29 all-conference players, including 17 first-team selections, since joining the America East Conference in 2002.

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