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May 8, 2003

Retriever Jen Dragoni Named NEC Women's Lacrosse Player of the Year

UMBC junior attacker Jen Dragoni was selected the Northeast Conference Women's Lacrosse Player of the Year in a vote by league head coaches. The high-scoring Dragoni led the Retrievers to a share of the NEC regular season title this spring, as well as the #2 seed in this weekend's NEC Tournament. UMBC freshman midfielder Kelly Fiorani claimed the Rookie of the Year award.

Dragoni, a two-time all-conference honoree, becomes just the third Retriever to earn NEC Player of the Year accolades, joining former UMBC greats Heather Kormanik (98) and Jamie Gerhart (02). Dragoni was the offensive catalyst for UMBC this season, as she led the Retrievers in goals (34/2.13 game), assists (19/1.19 game) and scoring (53 points/3.31 game).

More impressively, Dragoni boosted her scoring average to 4.00 points per game in NEC action this year. Her offensive production also helped UMBC average a league-best 12.81 goals per game, which ranks fourth nationally in the latest NCAA statistics. Dragoni, who was named 2002 NEC Tournament MVP, will be a key factor as UMBC looks to defend its conference title at this year's NEC Tournament.

Fiorani makes it back-to-back Rookie of the Year winners for UMBC (teammate Stephanie Crouch took home the hardware last season). Fiorani teamed with Dragoni to give the Retrievers a potent scoring tandem, as she ranked second on the squad in goals (32/2.00 game), assists (10/0.63 game) and scoring (42 points/2.63 game). Fiorani earned NEC Rookie of the Week honors once this season after registering a hat trick in a victory over in-state rival Mount St. Mary's in mid-March.

Three other Retrievers join Dragoni as first team honorees. Senior midfielder Stephanie Allen, a two-time all-NEC selection, is once again among Division I's top draw control specialists this year. In the latest NCAA statistics, Allen ranks third nationally in draw controls (68/4.25 game). Teaming with Allen in a loaded UMBC midfield is senior Lauren Traber, also a two-time honoree. Traber ranks third on the squad in scoring (35 points/28 g/7 a), while also contributing 53 ground balls and 16 turnovers caused. Rounding out the Retrievers' first team contingent is junior defender Emily Sawyer, who emerged as one of the team's top defenders this spring, while also adding four goals on the offensive end.

Posted by dwinds1 at May 8, 2003 12:00 AM