KINGS POINT, N.Y. (May 17, 2018) – On Thursday, two organizations announced their Division III women's lacrosse postseason awards – the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) revealed its All-ECAC Teams and the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) unveiled the All-Region Teams. Three different Mariners were recognized, as junior Meredith Willard (Portland, Maine) earned First Team All-ECAC honors, while classmate Jessica Reilly (Sayville, N.Y.) and senior Rebecca Bessler (Kent, Wash.) were selected to the Second Team All-ECAC. Additionally, Reilly earned a spot on the IWLCA Boardwalk Region Second Team.
Willard, who was named the Skyline Conference Offensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Skyline First Team last week, is the Skyline leader in goals and points per game and currently ranks in the top-20 among all Division III players in three different categories. She is eighth in the nation in two categories, with 6.80 points per game and 5.13 goals per game, while her 7.20 shots on goal per game are good for 19th in the country. Throughout the season, she was a two-time Skyline Player of the Week (March 19 & April 9) and landed on the Skyline Weekly Honor Roll once (April 2).
Reilly, who was named the Skyline Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was also selected to the All-Skyline First Team last week, is the conference leader in caused turnovers per game with 4.00 (which also ranks eighth in the nation), and also ranks second in the conference in two categories with 5.12 groundballs per game (which ranks 10th in the country) and with 6.06 draw controls per game. The junior midfielder has also made her mark offensively as well, ranking third in the Skyline with 4.18 goals per game (which ranks 27th nationally) and sixth in the league with 4.88 points per game. She was honored throughout the season on a weekly basis five times by the Skyline – being named Player of the Week twice (April 16 & April 24) and to the Skyline Weekly Honor three times (March 12, March 26 & April 2).
Bessler, who like Willard and Reilly was named to the First Team All-Skyline last week, was a four-year fixture and a big part of the Mariner defense that currently ranks 24th in the nation in allowing just 7.41 goals per game (a mark that is first in the Skyline). The senior has helped hold 13-of-16 opponents to single-digit goals this season. She has been an integral part of USMMA's transition game with her speed, which helps spark the offense (and she has contributed four goals herself). She ranks fourth on the Mariners with 35 groundballs.
Willard, Reilly and Bessler helped lead the Mariners to the best season in their short six-year program history. The Mariners finished the season with a 14-2 record, their first Skyline Conference Championship and trip to the NCAA National Tournament.
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