Friday, May 29, 2009

University of Albany's Kayla Best & Nikki Branchini Named to IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-Northeast Region Second Team - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Charlottesville, Va. – University at Albany’s Kayla Best and Nikki Branchini has been chosen to the IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-Northeast Region squad, as announced on Thursday, May 28 by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association. Best and Branchini were second-team selections and are just the second and third Great Danes to earn all-region recognition at the Division I level in the UAlbany program’s history. In 2007, Kate Fontana was also voted to the region’s second team.

Best was named All-America East Conference for the third straight season and has been picked to the first team twice. She ranked fourth in goals (2.63 pg) and seventh in points (3.31 pg) among the conference leaders. Best tallied 42 goals and 11 assists for 53 points, tying the fifth-highest single-season total in school history. She netted four or more points against seven opponents, including a season-high seven (3 goals, 4 assists) in a victory over nationally-ranked New Hampshire.

A junior midfielder from Guilderland, N.Y., Best owns the nation’s second-longest goal scoring streak and has found the net in 46 consecutive games. She is currently fifth in goals (119) and tied for fifth in points (147) on the program’s career charts.

Branchini was chosen to the All-America East first team for the second year in a row. A sophomore defender from Guilderland, N.Y., she is seventh among the NCAA national leaders in draw controls at 3.82 per game. She was fourth in the conference in ground balls (2.47 pg), plus scored four goals and led the team in caused turnovers (18). Branchini, the 2009 America East Fans’ Choice player of the year, helped UAlbany register its first winning campaign since 2000.

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