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Huskies Land Two Big East Regular Season Awards

Senior captain Shannon Nee earned Big East Goalkeeper of the Year for back-to-back seasons.
May 4, 2016

Big East Release

NEW YORK – Five members of the UConn women’s lacrosse team were honored by the Big East conference Wednesday. Sophomore Grace Nolan (Marcellus, N.Y.) was named Co-Attacker of the Year and senior Shannon Nee (Lancaster, Pa.) was crowned Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight season.

Nee and Nolan both landed All-Big East First Team along with senior midfielder Alexandra Crofts (Westport Conn.) while sophomore defender Cassie Ekstrom (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and senior attacker Katherine Finkelston (Leonardtown, Md.) both claimed a spot on the Second Team. Nolan was a unanimous First Team selection.

Nolan earned Co-Attacker of the Year accolades after a stellar performance on offense this season. Ranking among the top 50 players nationally in points per game, Nolan led the Huskies at the end of the regular season with 56 points, tallying 41 goals and 15 assists. She was named Big East Attacker of the Week twice this season.

Averaging 3.50 points per game, Nolan finished with the most points of any attacker in the conference and finished second in the league in goals. She tallied a season-high nine points (6g, 3a) against Fairfield, and recorded at least three points in nine contests this year. This marks Nolan’s second consecutive regular season conference award after she was tabbed the 2015 Big East Rookie of the Year.

Nee, who earned Big East Defensive Player of the Week four times this season, brought home the title of Big East Goalkeeper of the Year for a second straight time. In a career-best season, Nee set the program record for most career wins after she recorded 12 victories in net this year, six of them Big East contests. She also finished the regular season with a personal-best save percentage of .513, the best in the league, and goals against average of 9.56.



The senior captain is currently sixth in the nation in overall saves and also ranks 11th nationally in save percentage. Her 159 saves this season give Nee the top save percentage and save per game average in the league. She ranks fourth in the conference in goals against average and third in ground balls.

A two-time member of the Big East Weekly Honor Roll this season, Crofts led the team in draw controls with a personal-best 29. She is the third overall leading scorer on the team with 24 goals, the most of any midfielder. In addition to her presence on offense, Crofts put in work on defense, causing 24 turnovers this season, the second-most of anyone on the team.

UConn’s leading goal scorer, Finkelston finished the regular season with 46 goals and six assists for a total 52 points. Averaging 2.88 goals per game, Finkelston is ranked 19th nationally and first in the conference in goals per game. Three-time Big East Attacker of the Week, Finkelston tallied a season-high six goals on two separate occasions this season against Quinnipiac and Cincinnati.

A staple of the UConn defense, Ekstrom led the team in caused turnovers with 28 and a season-high four caused turnovers against Marquette. Starting in all 16 games this season as a sophomore, Ekstrom is ranked among the top 25 players in the nation in caused turnovers per game, averaging 1.75. Her 28 caused turnovers tie her for third in the league. Ekstrom is also second on the team in ground ball pickups with 35 and a season-high seven ground balls coming against William and Mary.

UConn’s five honorees was the third-most of any team in the conference, behind Florida’s seven and Temple’s six. The Huskies’ three First Team selections were the second-most of any team in the league behind the Gators’ five.

All of the UConn award winners and the rest of the Husky squad will showcase their talents in the Big East Semifinals when the No. 2 seeded Huskies face the No. 3 seeded Owls on Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. at Cooper Field.

See full list of awards below:

BIG EAST Co-Attackers of the Year
Sammi Burgess, Florida, A
Grace Nolan, Connecticut, A

BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year
Nicole Graziano, Florida, M*

BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Caroline Fitzgerald, Florida, D

BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year
Shannon Nee, Connecticut, GK

BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, A

BIG EAST Co-Coaching Staffs of the Year

*unanimous selection

All-BIG EAST First Team
Kristen Bandos, Georgetown, M*
Taylor Bresnahan, Florida, D
Sammi Burgess, Florida, A*
Kyara Byner, Cincinnati, D
Alexandra Crofts, Connecticut, M
Corinne Etchison, Georgetown, A
Caroline Fitzgerald, Florida, D*
Morgan Glassford, Temple, M
Elizabeth Goslee, Marquette, D
Nicole Graziano, Florida, M*
Allison Lane, Marquette, M
Brenda McDermott, Temple, A*
Shannon Nee, Connecticut, GK
Grace Nolan, Connecticut, A*
Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, A* 

All-BIG EAST Second Team^
Kassandra Bowling, Georgetown, D
Kelly Chandler, Vanderbilt, A
Emma Dagres, Vanderbilt, M
Cassie Ekstrom, Connecticut, D
Katherine Finkelston, Connecticut, A
Jackie Froccaro, Villanova, A
Chelsey Henderson, Villanova, M
Summer Jaros, Temple, D
Jaqi Kakalecik, Temple, GK
Callahan Kent, Vanderbilt, GK
Lauren Lea, Florida, M
Shayna Pirreca, Florida, A
Rachel Schwaab, Temple, A
Julianna Shearer, Marquette, A
Nicole Tiernan, Temple, M
Francesca Whitehurst, Georgetown, M

^extra player added due to a tie in voting