Friday, May 28, 2010

UAlbany's Nikki Branchini & Ashley Ross on IWLCA All-North Region Women's Lacrosse Team

Baltimore, Md. - University at Albany's Nikki Branchini and Ashley Ross have been named to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-North Region Team, as announced by the association on Friday, May 28. Branchini is the first UAlbany player to earn first-team all-region honors in the program's Division I history. Ross is a second-team all-region selection.

Branchini, a junior defensive midfielder, was voted the 2010 America East Conference Player of the Year after leading the Great Danes to the conference's regular-season title and a school-record 13-win campaign. She is among the NCAA Division I leaders in draw controls (second, 4.93 pg), ground balls (sixth, 3.27 pg) and caused turnovers (ninth, 2.07 pg). The Guilderland, N.Y. native, added 10 goals and three assists and had a .476 shot percentage. Branchini, who earned first-team all-conference honors for the third consecutive year, was named to the IWLCA all-region second team last year.

Ross, who hails from Lancaster, Pa., makes her first appearance on the IWLCA all-region squad. She received first-team All-America East Conference recognition in her first year as the program's starting goalkeeper. Ross previously was an all-conference goalie on the school's field hockey team. The senior is fourth nationally in save percentage (.519) and seventh in goals against average (8.11). Ross made double-figure saves against seven opponents, including a career-high 13 in the America East tournament semifinals against UMBC. She was named conference defensive player of the week three times this season.

UAlbany established a school record for most wins in a season with a 13-3 record, breaking a mark that had stood since 1998. The Great Danes achieved their first national ranking in the IWLCA coaches' poll (No. 19) and deBeer/Inside Lacrosse media poll (No. 17).

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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