MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) announced its women's lacrosse All-Conference Teams for the 2018 season, naming six from the regular season and tournament champion Morrisville State College Mustangs to it's first, second and third teams.
Gianna Branca (Camillus, N.Y.), Courtney Cavellier (Rodman, N.Y.) and Lexi Firkins (Brockport, N.Y.) each earned a slot on the All-Conference first team, while Jillian Hughes (Brookfield, N.Y.) and Celia Abbott (Shortsville, N.Y.) got a nod for second team accolades.
Chelsea McNeal (Ithaca, N.Y.) rounded out All-Conference selections with a slot on third team.
Branca led the high powered offensive unit for the Mustangs in scoring on the season, netting 60 goals and 54 assists for 114 points in 17 starts at attack. Within conference play collected 72 points behind 39 goals and 33 assists, posting a single game high 16 points on four goals and 12 assists in the win over Lancaster Bible, averaging 8.0 points per game within conference play. Twice on the season she was in double digits in scoring, also netting 11 points in the win over Penn St. Abington.
She currently leads the NEAC in points, goals, assists, and is second in free position goals scored (17), while ranking fifth overall in all of Division III in assists and 7th in assists per game. Branca also ranks 5th in Division III in points scored. The senior was a first team all-conference selection last season, and added 27 ground balls, 44 draw controls, and 20 caused turnovers to her tallies on the season. Branca accounted for 6.7 of the Mustangs average 13.6 points per game on the year.
Cavellier was second on the team in scoring this season, recording 63 points behind her 53 goals and 10 assists as four of her goals came on free position opportunities. Cavellier also contributed 63 ground balls, snagged 89 draw controls and caused 37 turnovers from her midfield position, while shooting 75.2% from the field.
The junior posted 37 points within conference action, and overall ranks second among all players in the NEAC in goals scored, and is 5th in points scored, while ranking third in ground balls, 4th in draw controls and 4th in caused turnovers.
Cavellier averaged 3.7 points per game across the year, and 10 times posted above the average including a high seven points twice. She notched seven in the win over Lancaster Bible behind seven goals, and another seven against Fredonia where she posted 5 goals and 2 assists.
The All-Conference first team selection last season ranks 92nd overall in all of Division III in caused turnovers, 106th in draw controls per game, 99th in goals per game, and is 94th in ground balls per game. Cavellier is a two-time NEAC Player of the Week selection (April 3, 10), and three-time All-Conference selection.
Firkins started 15 games for the Mustangs at defense this season that limited opponents to an average 5.67 goals against average within conference play. Charged with marking the opposing best player, she collected 54 ground balls, collected nine draw controls, and caused a team high 44 turnovers.
On the season she ranks 5th overall in all the NEAC in ground balls, and second in caused turnovers. The sophomore posted a single game high 9 ground balls against Oswego, causing four turnovers. Within conference play, she collected a season high five caused turnovers against Keuka, and picked up a best seven ground balls against Medaille. She ranks 96th overall in all of Division III in ground balls per game and is 22nd overall in caused turnovers per game. She was a defensive player of the week selection on March 6.
Hughes started all 17 games for the Mustangs at attack this season, and over the course of the year, posted 41 points behind 25 goals and 16 assists. The junior shot 62.5% from the field to rank 5th overall in the conference.
She added 22 ground balls, two draw controls and caused three turnovers to her tallies on the year. Hughes posted a single game high five goals in the win over Fredonia, and within conference play, twice collected five points – once against Wells (2 goals, 3 assists) and a second time against Cazenovia. She was third on the team in scoring this season.
Abbott was fourth on the team in scoring netting 18 goals and assisting 13 others for 31 total points, in 12 games of action.
She posted a single game high seven points in the win over Cazenovia, where she posted a single game high four goals and three assists, also adding five points against Wells and six against Hilbert.
She was a second team All-Conference selection a year ago at attack.
McNeal posted 28 points for the Mustangs this season, netting 26 goals and assisting two others.
The sophomore had a single game high five points in the win over Wells, netting four goals and assisting another, registering three or more points in five games on the year. McNeal played a vital role in the Mustangs transition game, and low offensive attacking unit.
Morrisville State captured its second straight conference tournament title and will be making their third overall appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament Saturday as they travel to Gettysburg University to face Westfield State in the opening round.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.