NEW HAVEN, Conn. (April 24, 2017) -- Georgian Court University standout Samantha Fernandez on Monday was named the 2017 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Women's Lacrosse Player of the Year, as announced by Commissioner Dan Mara. In addition to being named the league's top player, Fernandez also garnered a spot on the All-CACC First Team to highlight the list of award winners announced on Monday.
Joining Fernandez as major award winners were Dominican College's Jenna Fox (2017 CACC Rookie of the Year), Caldwell University's Rachel Lucia (2017 CACC Defensive Player of the Year) and Dominican's Jim Drivas (2017 BSN Sports CACC Coach of the Year). Both Fox and Lucia were named to the All-CACC First Team at their respective positions as well. Voting for the major awards and all-conference honors was conducted by the league's 10 head coaches in the sport.
Fernandez had a tremendous regular season for the Lions in helping the team capture the CACC regular season championship with a perfect 9-0 mark in conference play. The sophomore attacker leads the CACC with 67 goals and 79 points, while also topping the league in shots (130) and shots on goal (109).
She scored multiple goals in each game this season, including seven with five goals or more. Her season-best output was a six-marker effort in a 20-6 triumph over Nyack College on April 12. Fernandez also provided three assists in the contest to give her nine points on the day -- also a season-high for points in a match.
Fox was deemed the league's top rookie after helping lead the Chargers to an 8-1 record in the CACC, which was good for second place in the standings and a first-round bye in this week's conference tournament. The freshman midfielder threw in 34 goals and assisted on 22 others for 56 points, as her helpers and points were both the sixth highest totals in the conference. Fox also had a steady hand in the defensive aspect of the game, as she ranked fourth in the CACC in both draw controls (66) and caused turnovers (27).
Lucia was named the top defensive player in the CACC, as it marked the second time in as many seasons the sophomore midfielder collected a major award from the conference. As a freshman in 2016, Lucia was named the CACC Rookie of the Year. In 2017, Lucia led the league with 35 caused turnovers, while ranking second with 63 ground balls scooped up. She also placed 10th in the league with 45 draw controls.
Drivas was named the BSN Sports Coach of the Year, as he guided Dominican to an impressive 8-5 overall record and an 8-1 mark in league play. The turnaround came a year after Dominican had missed the CACC playoffs.
The other major award handed out on Monday was the CACC Team Sportsmanship Award, which was given to Felician University for demonstrating outstanding character and class throughout the season under the guidance of head coach Natalie Bermudez.
Joining Fernandez, Fox and Lucia on the all-conference first team were Arden Kassaleh (Attack, Caldwell), Arianna Quinlan (Attack, GCU), Haliann Fitzgerald (Midfield, Dominican), Xena Valenzuela (Midfield, GCU), Abby Wilmot (M, Nyack), Kacie Booth (Defender, Holy Family University), Ashley Gallo (Defender, GCU), Amanda Timmes (Defender, Caldwell) and Elizabeth Ruedemann (Goalkeeper, Caldwell).
The All-CACC Second Team included La'Dae Boykin (Attack, Wilmington University), Shayne Gallagher (Attack, Dominican), Victoria Silvers (Attack, Nyack), Taylor Bauerband (Midfield, GCU), Rose Bachmayer (Midfield, HFU), Isabella DiGnazio (Midfield, Philadelphia University), Jacklyn O'Leary (Midfield, Chestnut Hill College), Lashay Ross (Midfield, WilmU), Shawna Chopko (Defender, WilmU), Katie Gallivan (Defender, PhilaU), Lisa Milburn (Defender, GCU) and Amber Neumann (GK, GCU).
The all-conference and major award winners will be recognized at the 2017 CACC Women's Lacrosse Championship Banquet, which will be held on Friday night in Lakewood, N.J., on the eve of the women's lacrosse championship semifinals at Georgian Court.
2017 CACC WOMEN’S LACROSSE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Samantha Fernandez (Georgian Court University)
2017 CACC WOMEN’S LACROSSE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Jenna Fox (Dominican College)
2017 CACC WOMEN’S LACROSSE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Rachel Lucia (Caldwell University)
2017 BSN SPORTS CACC WOMEN’S LACROSSE COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Drivas (Dominican College)
2017 CACC WOMEN’S LACROSSE TEAM SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD
2017 CACC WOMEN’S LACROSSE REGULAR SEASON CHAMPION
Georgian Court University
2017 CACC WOMEN’S LACROSSE ALL-CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM
A Samantha Fernandez (Georgian Court University)
A Arden Kassaleh (Caldwell University)
A Arianna Quinlan (Georgian Court University)
M Haliann Fitzgerald (Dominican College)
M Jenna Fox (Dominican College)
M Rachel Lucia (Caldwell University)
M Xena Valenzuela (Georgian Court University)
M Abby Wilmot (Nyack College)
D Kacie Booth (Holy Family University)
D Ashley Gallo (Georgian Court University)
D Amanda Timmes (Caldwell University)
GK Elizabeth Ruedemann (Caldwell University)
2017 CACC WOMEN’S LACROSSE ALL-CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM
A La’Dae Boykin (Wilmington University)
A Shayne Gallagher (Dominican College)
A Victoria Silvers (Nyack College)
M Taylor Bauerband (Georgian Court University)
M Rose Bachmayer (Holy Family University)
M Isabella DiGnazio (Philadelphia University)
M Jacklyn O’Leary (Chestnut Hill College)
M Lashay Ross (Wilmington University)
D Shawna Chopko (Wilmington University)
D Katie Gallivan (Philadelphia University)
D Lisa Milburn (Georgian Court University)
GK Amber Neumann (Georgian Court University)
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Nyack College, Philadelphia University, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.