Ashley Crook (South Burlington, Vt.), a senior midfielder and co-captain, was the recipient of the Coaches’ Award, which is presented in recognition of a player who embodies the spirit of UNH women’s lacrosse with tireless effort and selfless giving to the team without hesitation. Crook, who recorded a total of nine points in her first three years as a Wildcat, was asked to increase her role on offense this season and responded with 21 goals and four assists for 25 points. She continued to be a stalwart on the defensive end of the field as she led the team in ground balls (35) and was second in caused turnovers (19). Crook was also among the team leaders (fourth) in draw controls.
Michaela Hardy (Reading, Mass.), a junior midfielder who was an America East All-Conference First Team selection, was bestowed with the Offensive MVP award. Hardy led the ‘Cats in points (59), goals (52) and caused turnovers (26); her 52 goals ranks eighth on UNH’s list of single-season superlatives. She ended the year with a 16-game goal-scoring streak – the longest in a single season by a Wildcat since ’04 – and with 14 multiple-point efforts overall, including seven points against both Oregon (5g, 2a) and Stony Brook (7g).
Ashley Milley (Sudbury, Mass.), a senior goalkeeper who joined Hardy on the All-Conference First Team, was named the Defensive MVP. Milley recorded the lowest goals-against-average by a UNH goalie since 2002 with a mark of 7.92 that is currently No. 8 in the nation, and her .483 save percentage is 16th best nationally. Milley’s season highlights include a personal-best 15 saves in
Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.), a freshman defender who was named to both the All-Conference First Team and All-Rookie Team, was honored as the Rookie of the Year. Despite missing five games, Duclos was one of five ‘Cats to record double digits in ground balls (23), draw controls (33) and caused turnovers (10); she ranked second overall in draw controls. Duclos also recorded two points with a goal and an assist.
Kellen Millard (Ipswich, Mass.), a sophomore defender, received the Strength and Conditioning Award for her work ethic and determination. Millard was specifically cited for her effort in the weight room with regards to squat lifting as well as for her accomplishments in the 1-mile run, 40-yard dash and agility tests. She emerged as a vital cog in the defensive unit this season; Millard started seven of the 17 games in which she played and recorded 13 ground balls, six caused turnovers and six draw controls.
Twelfth-year head coach Sandy Bridgeman concluded the evening by honoring the five-member Class of 2008 comprised of Crook, Milley, Bailley Mazur (Longmeadow, Mass.), Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.) and Maureen Wark (Yarmouth, Maine). This quintet led UNH to one NCAA tournament appearance and four America East tourney appearances in which the Wildcats finished as runner-up three times.
New Hampshire made its conference-record 11th consecutive appearance in the America East Championship tournament in 2008 en route to the NCAAs. The team was ranked in each of the last six polls of the season and attained its highest national ranking – 13th – in the final poll.