SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) has announced its year-end academic honors and Mount Holyoke College was recognized. The team was one of 276 schools across all divisions to be named a Zag Sports Academic Honor Squad for the 2016 season. Individually, two student-athletes were also recognized.
In order to qualify for the team honor, squads must have posted a 3.0 or higher team GPA for the year. Led by ninth-year head coach Miriam Esber, the Lyons posted a 3-11 record during the 2016 season, including victories over Fitchburg State and NEWMAC-rivals Coast Guard and Smith.
Among the season highlights was senior captain and attack Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow), who led the NEWMAC in assists with 40, and was 26th overall in Division III in helpers. Fellow senior captain and attack Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) also stood out in the conference, finishing fourth overall in goals with 49 and fifth in points with 58.
Both achieved career milestones during the season as Ryan became the sixth player in program history to achieve 200 career points, while Bell eclipsed the 200 career goal mark – just the second player ever to reach the feat.
Overall, the Lyons saw both Bell and senior defender Nicole Perkins (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) named to the IWLCA Zag Sports Division III Academic Honor Roll. In order to be eligible for this honor, student-athletes must be a junior, senior, or graduate student and earned a cumulative academic GPA of 3.50 or greater. Both were honored for the first time in their careers.
Bell majored in psychology and led the team in a number of categories, including goals, points, free position goals (6-11), ground balls (34) and caused turnovers (24). Additionally, she was second in draw controls (30) and assists (9). For her efforts, Bell was named to the NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team – the fourth honor of her career. Perkins also was a double major, studying history and anthropology. On the field, she played in all 14 games, including 12 as a starter. Perkins posted an assist and grabbed three ground balls in a 17-3 victory over conference foe Coast Guard Academy on April 13th.