Lacrosse Puts Five on All-Conference Teams; Bell Named Rookie of the Year; Esber the Coach of the Year

Lacrosse Puts Five on All-Conference Teams; Bell Named Rookie of the Year; Esber the Coach of the Year

BABSON PARK, Mass. – The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) has announced its All-Conference Teams in women's lacrosse and five Mount Holyoke College student-athletes were recognized, including three on the first team. Additionally, first year Julia Bell was named the Rookie of the Year while Lyons head coach Miriam Esber was the conference's Coach of the Year honoree.

This is the second Coach of the Year honor for Esber, who was previously recognized after the Lyons 2010 campaign. During the 2013 season, she helped guide Mount Holyoke to an 11-4 overall record. The team finished 4-2 in the NEWMAC standings and advanced to the tournament semifinals. Several of her players led the conference in a number of categories throughout the season and the team was also among the New England regional rankings this season.

A first year attacker out of Longmeadow, Mass., Bell was the Rookie of the Year and an All-Conference First Team selection after ranking second in the NEWMAC in overall points with 71 on 49 goals and 22 assists. Additionally, the Wilbraham and Monson graduate has 51 draw controls, 25 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers. In addition to being fourth among the league leaders in goals, she is fifth in caused turnovers and sixth in assists and draw controls.

In addition to Bell, senior attack Molly Macdonald (Milton, Mass./Milton Academy) and senior goaltender Liz Malenfant (Nantucket, Mass./White Mountain School (N.H.) were also selected to the First Team. Macdonald is currently first in the NEWMAC with 58 goals, adding nine assists for 67 points. A two-time Offensive Player of the Week selection, she is third in the conference in points and has added eight ground balls, 10 draw controls and four caused turnovers this season.

Malenfant became the all-time leader in single season victories this season. A three-time Defensive Player of the Week in the NEWMAC, she owns an 11-3 record and is second in the conference in goals against average with a 9.49 mark. In addition to a .488 save percentage, Malenfant has made 126 saves over 834:30 minutes of action. She was also an ECAC New England Defensive Player of the Week honoree.

Named to the NEWMAC Second Team was sophomore midfielder Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) and senior defender Mary Webster (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth Academy). Kilburn, who has proved outstanding on the draw, leads the conference in draw controls with 80. A NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week once, she has 42 goals and 10 assists for 52 points, while adding 16 caused turnovers and 41 ground balls.

Webster, a solid anchor for the Lyons defense over four years, had recorded nine ground balls and three caused turnovers through 15 games. She has been a key component of an MHC defense that has allowed the fewest goals in the conference (143) and has the second-best goals against average among the league teams (9.47).

Mount Holyoke's (11-4, 4-2 NEWMAC) outstanding season will likely resume next week. The Lyons are hoping to participate in the either the NCAA Division III National Tournament or the ECAC Division III New England Tournament. In order to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, they would need to receive an at-large bid, as only conference tournament champions receive automatic qualification. The NCAA Tournament field will be unveiled Sunday, May 5. ECAC Tournament brackets will be released on Sunday as well. Both events are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, May 8. Mount Holyoke, which has never played in the NCAA Tournament, took part in the ECAC Tournament in 1993, 1994 and 2010.