SCAC Announces 2019 All-Conference Women’s Lacrosse Team

SCAC Announces 2019 All-Conference Women’s Lacrosse Team

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.Hayley Donnelly of Southwestern University was voted Attacker-of-the-Year, Alena Stern of Colorado College was selected the league's Defender-of-the-Year and CC's Lauren Pejza earned Midfielder-of-the-Year honors in exclusive 2019 all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) voting by the conference's head coaches. Complete Release 

In the same balloting, Maggie O'Donnell of Colorado College was named the conference's Rookie-of-the-Year honors while CC head coach Susan Stuart was selected SCAC Coach-of-the-Year.

As for the All-SCAC team, Colorado College earned a league-high seven First Team selections.

Donnelly, a senior attack from Houston, Texas, was at the top of the SCAC in nearly every offensive statistical category. A four-time SCAC Player-of-the-Week honoree, Donnelly finished the regular season second in the league in points (89) on 43 goals (fourth in the SCAC) and 46 assists (tied for first in the SCAC) in only 13 games played. Her 6.84 points per game ranks first in SCAC history for a single-season and her 46 assists currently sits tied for the highest single-year output in league history. Donnelly fired the fourth-most shots during the year (78) and among players who took 50 or more attempts, she ranked fourth in shots-on-goal percentage getting 84.6 percent on cage. She scored three or more goals on nine different occasions, highlighted by six goals in back-to-back games in early March as the Pirates defeated N.C. Wesleyan and Cornell. Donnelly passed out four or more assists in six games, led by a season-high nine helpers, in which she set new single-game SCAC records for both assists and points in a game (12), in a 22-10 win over Augustana (Ill.). Donnelly is the first Southwestern student-athlete to earn any major SCAC women's lacrosse award. 

Donnelly received three votes in SCAC Attacker-of-the-Year balloting, while junior attack Eva King of Colorado College received the remaining first-place vote.

Stern, a sophomore goalkeeper from Kings Mountain, Calif., was the backbone of the Tigers' defensive unit that allowed just 133 goals in 18 games for a 7.39 goals-against-average. Both marks established new SCAC record lows in a single season. Among those who met the minimum qualifying standards, Stern led the league in goals-against-average (8.39), wins (16), winning percentage (94.1), save percentage (52.9) and finished second with 135 saves in 857:49 minutes played. Her single-season marks for goals-against-average and save percentage are good for second- and third-best in SCAC history. A two-time SCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Week honoree, Stern eclipsed the double-digit save mark six times, led by a 14-save effort in the Tigers' 14-8 win at Occidental on March 30th. Stern is the second Colorado College student-athlete to earn Defensive Player-of-the-Year recognition, joining Abby Fink who took home top honors following the 2014 season.

Stern received two votes in SCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year balloting while senior midfielder Mason Cosgrove of Dallas and freshman defender Julianna Lozada of Johnson & Wales received one vote each.

Pejza, a junior midfielder from Orinda, Calif., was one of the most versatile players on the field in the SCAC throughout the 2019 season. Through 18 games, she has recorded 36 points (tied for ninth in the SCAC) on 22 goals and 14 assists (fifth in the SCAC) to help lead the Tigers to their second SCAC championship. Pejza led the league in the regular season with 69 draw controls, finished tied for fourth in caused turnovers with 19 and finished tied for ninth after collecting 31 ground balls. She hit her high-water mark in points in a 19-9 win over George Fox on March 25th with six on three goals and three assists, and in the 18-1 win over Southwestern in the SCAC title game, she logged a season-best eight draw controls to go along with two groundballs. Pejza is the first Colorado College student-athlete to win SCAC Midfielder-of-the-Year. 

Pejza received three votes in SCAC Midfielder-of-the-Year balloting, while senior Erika Keever of the University of Dallas received the remaining first-place vote.

O'Donnell, a first-year attack from Cohasset, Mass., led all freshman in every single offensive category this season. She was tops among first-year players in goals scored (41), assists (34) and points (75) – numbers good enough to place O'Donnell in the top five in the league among all players in each category. She played a key role in leading the Tigers' offense to multiple SCAC single-season records, including total goals (307) and goals-per-game (17.06). She ranked first in shooting percentage among players who registered 50 or more shot attempts, scoring on 58.6 percent of her 70 shots taken. A two-time SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week selection, O'Donnell scored two or more goals on 13 different occasions this year, including four contests in which she registered a career-high four goals. O'Donnell passed out three or more assists in six games, highlighted by a career-high eight points in a win over Marian (Wis.), 23-0, in which she dished out five helpers. O'Donnell is the second Colorado College student-athlete to earn Rookie-of-the-Year recognition, joining Elise Buchard who took home the award following the 2011 season.

O'Donnell received three votes in SCAC Rookie-of-the-Year balloting, while freshman defender Julianna Lozada of Johnson & Wales received the remaining first-place vote.

Colorado College head coach Susan Stuart, the program's first and only varsity head coach, guided the Tigers to a 17-1 overall record that included a program-best 14-game winning streak to open the season, the Tigers' second SCAC women's lacrosse title, and the program's 11th NCAA Tournament appearance. CC, which set a new program record for single-season wins, opens postseason play with a home match against George Fox on May 12th. Stuart has a 271-121-1 (.690) career mark over 25 years at the helm of the Tigers, and this year's COTY accolade marks the third time in her career she has earned SCAC Coach-of-the-Year honors. Stuart, who has guided the Tigers to a 271-121-1 (.690) overall record during her 25 seasons, has also been named West Region Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

To view the entire 2019 All-SCAC Women's Lacrosse Team, click here.