DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team held its annual team banquet Sunday afternoon in the Squamscott Room at Holloway Commons and reflected on the 2004 season in which the Wildcats won the America East regular season and tournament titles, advanced to the NCAA championships and broke numerous school records in a 15-5 season.
Senior tri-captain Sarah Cahill (Lexington, Mass.), a repeat selection to the America East All-Conference First Team in 2004, was bestowed the Coaches' Award, which is presented to an individual who embodies the UNH women's lacrosse philosophies of selfless giving to the team. In addition to the innumerable intangibles she provided, Cahill recorded 26 points on 21 goals and five assists this season. She ranked third on the team in ground balls and fourth in draw controls. She netted a career-high four goals vs. Binghamton and matched her personal best of five points in that game, and other season highlights included her 50th career point and 50th career goal. Cahill recorded a point in 14 of 19 games with six multiple-point efforts.
On offense, Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.) and Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.) were announced as Co-MVPs while Laura Dosdall (Wellesley, Mass.) was the recipient of the Defensive MVP.
Burnap, a junior attack and America East Player of the Year in 2004, broke UNH's single-season records for both goals (72) and points (81) in a season. She is currently ranked fifth in the nation in goals and 14th in points, as well as first in America East in goals and third in points. Burnap led the Wildcats in goals, was second in both points and ground balls and third in assists. She scored a goal in all 20 games and her season highlights included tying the school single-game record for goals (eight) as well as recording her 100th career point and 100th career goal. Burnap's 2004 awards include America East All-Conference First Team, two-time selection as America East Player of the Week (3/16; 3/29) and womenslacrosse.com Honor Roll (3/8).
Leland, a sophomore attack and America East All-Conference First Team honoree, broke the UNH single-season points record with 90 points and is ranked eighth in the nation in points, 15th in goals and 17th in assists, as well as first in America East in points and second in both goals and assists. In addition to her team-high 90 points, Leland had a team-best 30 assists and was second in goals with 60, as well as fourth in ground balls. Her season highlights included a record-setting nine point performance (6g, 3a) vs. Albany in the conference semifinals and her 100th career point. Leland, named the Most Outstanding Performer at the America East Championships, was a two-time America East Player of the Week recipient (4/19; 4/26) as well as InsideLacrosse.com Player of the Week (4/19) and Honorable Mention (5/3) selection.
Dosdall, a junior defender and America East All-Conference First Team selection, ranked second on the team in both ground balls and caused turnovers, as well as fifth in draw controls. On offense, she tallied 25 goals and three assists for 28 points. Her season highlights included a career-high four goals in the NCAA tournament game at Dartmouth and the conference title game in which she recorded one goal, five ground balls and three caused turnovers. Dosdall recorded multiple ground balls 14 times, multiple caused turnovers eight times and had six games with multiple draw controls. Her other 2004 honors included America East All-Championship Team, America East Defender of the Week (4/19) and womenslacrosse.com Honor Roll (4/19).
Cristina Covucci (Concord, Mass.), the America East Rookie of the Year as a freshman defender, was named the team's Rookie of the Year. Currently No. 5 in the nation in ground balls, Covucci led UNH in ground balls and caused turnovers, as well as draw controls, and contributed to the offense with three goals and three assists. She was credited with five or more ground balls in a game nine times – including all three postseason games – and recorded multiple caused turnovers and multiple draw controls 10 times each. Covucci was also named to the America East All-Conference First Team and All-Rookie Team, and she was a four-time selection as America East Defender of the Week this season (3/29; 4/12; 4/26; 5/3).
UNH head coach Sandy Bridgeman, who was honored as America East Coach of the Year for the third time in four years, also gave special recognition to the two-member Class of 2004. In addition to Cahill, Kelly Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) was also honored. Blaney, a tri-captain and America East All-Conference Second Team selection, ranked second on the team in assists (23), third in points (50) and tied for third in goals (27). Blaney's season highlights included her 100th career point, scoring a career-high four goals at Vermont and a personal best six points (three goals, three assists) at Fairfield, as well as matching her career high of three assists in consecutive games vs. Sacred Heart and Fairfield.
UNH, ranked No. 17 in the nation, advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991 and ended the season with a 15-5 record following a 14-12 loss at Dartmouth in the first round.