April 22, 2010
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (April 22, 2010) - Sacred Heart senior Carissa Hauser (East Northport, NY) was named the 2010 Northeast Conference Women's Lacrosse Player of the Year while senior teammate Chelsea Wagner (Aurora, CO) was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year in a vote conducted by the conference's head coaches and announced Thursday. After leading the Pioneers to a school record 9-0 run through the NEC, head coach Laura Cook was honored with her second-straight Coach of the Year award.
Cook has the Pioneers riding a program-record 10-game winning streak into the NEC Tournament this weekend as SHU is looking to take home their third-straight championship. The Pioneers won the 2010 NEC Regular Season Championship outright after sharing the trophy the last two seasons with Quinnipiac. This is the third Coach of the Year award for Cook, now in her 11th season at the helm of the Pioneer program.
In addition to winning the league's top-awards for player and goalkeeper, Hauser and Wagner also earned spots on the All-NEC first team along with sophomore Kate Kmiotek (Farmingville, NY). Senior defender Nicole Gerosa (Branford, CT) was named to the All-NEC second team, her first all-league nod.
Hauser becomes the second straight Sacred Heart player to collect NEC Player of the Year honors, joining former teammate Amanda Williams. A prolific scorer, Hauser is the leading point producer in the conference with 70 points and 4.67 ppg. She also enters the postseason ranked second in the NEC in assists (2.0 apg) and draw controls (3.53 per game) and sixth in goals (2.67 gpg). The senior attacker, who won a league-leading three NEC Player of the Week awards this spring, has also tallied 13 free position goals. In a nod to her consistency, Hauser has scored at least two points in each game this season and has recorded six or more points on seven occasions. On the national scene, the East Northport, NY native ranks eighth in points and 11th in points per game. Over the course of her career, Hauser has amassed 131 goals and 80 assists, and has shined in the postseason for the two-time defending NEC champion Pioneers with 12 goals and four assists in five NEC Tournament games. She closes her career as a three-time NEC all-star.
Wagner walks away with the inaugural NEC Goalkeeper of the Year award and is now a two-time first team All-NEC performer. Wagner put up some terrific numbers between the pipes for Sacred Heart, stopping 58.5 percent of the shots she faced to lead all Division I keepers by a wide margin. She also leads the conference and sits eighth nationally in goals against average (7.96), while pacing the Pioneers with 37 ground balls on the year. Wagner allowed eight or less goals in each of her last ten outings, all of which resulted in wins for the Pioneers. Hailing from Aurora, CO, the senior picked up three NEC Defensive Player of the Week honors this season and has been honored six times over the course of her career.
Kmiotek follows a second team selection in her freshman season with a first team nod this spring. A terrific all-around performer, Kmiotek leads the Pioneers with 43 goals and 23 caused turnovers, and ranks second with 51 points, 44 draw controls and 35 ground balls. On the league leader board, Kmiotek is fifth in goals (2.69 gpg) and draw controls (2.75/game), and ninth in scoring (3.19 ppg). Gerosa anchored a Sacred Heart back line that allowed a league-low 53 goals in nine NEC games. She finished the season with 28 ground balls, 16 caused turnovers and seven draw controls.
The Pioneers will open defense of their titles on Friday afternoon hosting the #4 seed Mount St. Mary's at 12 noon. SHU is looking to become just the second team in NEC history to three-peat, matching the UMBC teams from 1998 through 2000. The other semifinal match-up features the #2 seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats against the #3 seeded Monmouth Hawks at 2:30 pm. The winners will face off for the title on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm on Campus Field.