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Grace Gabriel Named Big East Women’s Lacrosse Co-Midfielder Of The Year

Gabriel is Marquette’s first ever individual Big East award winner! PLUS: Two other Golden Eagles earned all-league honors.

Grace Gabriel
Grace Gabriel’s pretty good at this whole lacrosse thing.
Facebook.com/MarquetteWLax

A season of bests and firsts for Marquette women’s lacrosse continued on Wednesday afternoon when junior Grace Gabriel was named Co-Midfielder of the Year by the Big East. By way of a tie in the voting by the league’s coaches, Gabriel shares the award with Florida’s Sydney Pirreca.

Gabriel is the first Marquette player ever to earn an individual postseason award from the Big East.

Here’s the explanation of Gabriel’s accomplishments this season from the league office, along with Pirreca’s.

Pirreca becomes the third Gator in the last four seasons to garner Midfielder of the Year accolades. Over nine BIG EAST games, the junior tallied 27 points off 25 goals and two assists, 15 draw controls, six ground balls and four caused turnovers. Florida converted nearly 85 percent of its clear attempts and scooped up nearly 23 ground balls per contest. Pirreca was named BIG EAST Midfielder of the Week this season after totaling eight points against then-No. 1 Maryland.

Gabriel becomes the first major award winner for Marquette. The junior was tabbed BIG EAST Midfielder of the Week four times this season, including following the final weekend of the regular season when she led MU to a win over UConn to qualify for the BIG EAST Championship for the first time. Gabriel stuffed the stat sheet in Marquette’s most successful season to date, averaging 2.67 goals, 3.44 points, 3.22 ground balls, 7.22 shots, 7.00 draws and 2.33 caused turnovers per game, all which rank in the top 10 in the BIG EAST.

Why is there a sentence about Florida’s team accomplishments this season randomly dropped into the press release while attempting to justify Pirreca’s share of the award? No idea! You can see Gabriel’s per-game stats for the nine games of league action in her paragraph. Pirreca’s stats? 2.78 goals, 3.00 points, 0.67 ground balls, 6.22 shots, 1.67 draws, and 0.44 caused turnovers. In other words: Congrats on being slightly better at scoring goals than Gabriel, but that’s about it in terms of her impact on Florida. Why is this a shared award? NO IDEA, other than bias towards giving the award to a Gator yet again because UF has only lost one time to a Big East foe since joining the league.

ANYWAY.

Gabriel also smashed her own Marquette record for draw controls in a season with 103, flying right past her previous record of 82. She’s also one goal away from tying the program record for goals in a season as well as one away from the career goals mark. That’s a pretty good season, and well deserving of recognition as the best middie in the league, as well as being one of six unanimous choices to the all-Big East First Team.

Joining Gabriel on the All-Big East First Team is senior midfielder Allison Lane. It’s the third all-league honor for the New Jersey native, and the second time that she’s been on the First Team. Lane recorded career bests in goals, assists, points, shots, ground balls, draw controls, and caused turnovers as she and Gabriel teamed up to be quite possibly the most productive two-way midfield pairing in the Big East.

Junior Cate Soccodato is MU’s third all-conference honoree this season, as she picks up a spot on the Second Team. Her 38 assists are the highest total in the Big East and rank 15th in the country. 26 of her helpers came in Marquette’s nine league games, leaving her just shy of averaging an assist hat trick per game (there has to be a better name than that), as well as recording six assists more than any other Big East competitor.

Here’s the full rundown of the Big East individual award winners and all-conference honorees.

BIG EAST Attacker of the Year

Grace Nolan, Connecticut, Sr., A

BIG EAST Co-Midfielders of the Year

Sydney Pirreca, Florida, Jr., M
Grace Gabriel, Marquette, Jr., M

BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year

Cassie Ekstrom, Connecticut, Sr., D

BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year

Haley Hicklen, Florida, Jr., GK

BIG EAST Co-Freshmen of the Year

Quintin Hoch-Bullen, Denver, A
Shannon Kavanagh, Florida, M

BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year

Florida

All-BIG EAST First Team

Cassie Ekstrom, Connecticut, Sr., D
Grace Nolan, Connecticut, Sr., A*
Julia Feiss, Denver, Jr., A
Kennedy Milburn, Denver, R-Jr., D
Haley Hicklen, Florida, Jr., GK
Shannon Kavanagh, Florida, Fr., M
Shayna Pirreca, Florida, Sr., A
Sydney Pirreca, Florida, Jr., M*
Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, Jr., A*
Cara Trombetta, Florida, So., D*
Taylor Gebhardt, Georgetown, Jr., A*
Natalia Lynch, Georgetown, So., M
Grace Gabriel, Marquette, Jr., M*
Allison Lane, Marquette, Sr., M
Nicole Latgis, Temple, Sr., D

All-BIG EAST Second Team^

Monica Borzillo, Cincinnati, So., A
Kelsey Catalano, Connecticut, Sr., M
Sydney Watson, Connecticut, Fr., M
Maddie Baum, Denver, Jr., M
Quintin Hoch-Bullen, Denver, Fr., A
Sabrina Cristodero, Florida, Fr., D
Haelle Chomo, Georgetown, Jr., GK
Mollie Miller, Georgetown, Fr., D
Michaela Bruno, Georgetown, So., A
Cate Soccodato, Marquette, Jr., A
Maddie Gebert, Temple, So., M
Julie Blaze, Vanderbilt, Jr., M
Margaret Fee, Vanderbilt, Sr., D
Emily Mathewson, Vanderbilt, So., A
Kayla Peterson, Vanderbilt, Sr., A
Katie Comerford, Villanova, So., A

*unanimous selection
^extra player added due to a tie in voting