CLEVELAND, Ohio – Following their fifth-straight North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship, Denison women's lacrosse has garnered seven different All-NCAC selections for this season, headlined by senior Leah Israel as the conference's Midfielder of the Year and junior Jane Goodspeed earning the Defensive Player of the Year award.
A two-time All-NCAC second-team selection the previous two seasons, Israel earned first-team accolades in 2018 following a career-year where she tallied 42 goals, 13 assists, 39 ground balls and 69 draw controls. She has also helped the Big Red lead the NCAC in goals per game (17.28) and assists per game (7.39) this season.
Along with her Player of the Year honor on defense, Goodspeed was named to her third-straight All-NCAC first-team after anchoring a defense that has allowed a conference-low 7.33 goals against average this season. She has also totaled 66 ground balls, 35 caused turnovers and won 83 draw controls.
Senior defender Grace Gavula and sophomore attacker Kiely Noonan also received first-team honors for DU, led by Noonan's team-leading 68 goals and 27 assists. Gavula and second-team selection Emily Marlatt assisted in Denison's lock-down defense that ranks 13th nationally in caused turnovers per game (14.61).
Also joining the All-NCAC second-team was senior Claudia Rafi, a year after earning honorable mention status in 2017. In her senior season, the Mason, Ohio native has enjoyed career-highs in goals (51), assists (20), ground balls (24), and caused turnovers (15). Ranking second on the team in goals scored, Rafi tallied a season-high four goals in a win against Redlands on March 1.
Rounding out the all-conference honors was senior midfielder Halle Walsh, who earned the first All-NCAC accolade of her career as an honorable mention selection. The Duxbury, Mass. native has posted career numbers in 2018, garnering 16 goals on 39 shots with 12 assists and 39 ground balls. She has also gathered three or more ground balls in six different games this season.
Sporting a record of 16-2 on the season, the Big Red will host Calvin College in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, May 12. Opening draw is scheduled for 2 p.m.