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Steph Kelly ’18 Headlines All-Independent Lacrosse Team

Coach Susan Stuart Shares Coach-of-the-Year Award

Colorado College’s Steph Kelly ’18, who set the program’s single-season records for points and assists, was voted the Women’s Independent Lacrosse Schools’ Player of the Year in a ballot of the association’s head coaches.

Joining Kelly on the all-IWLS first team were fellow attacker Annie DeFrino ’18, midfielder Sadie Cole ’17, defender Abbe Sawabini ’17, and defender Cole Vanacore ’18. Attacker Lily Benjamin ’17 and midfielder Mary Taussig ’17 were second-team selections.

Head coach Susan Stuart, who guided the Tigers to a 14-4 record and a berth in the 2017 NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship, shared Coach-of-the-Year honors with Southwestern University’s Matthew Grosso.

A three-time IWLS player of the week this season, Kelly leads CC with 104 points and 54 assists, and is second with 50 goals. She broke her own school records for single-season points and assists set last year as a sophomore.

Kelly also ranks first on the team with 98 draw controls and is tied for third with 35 ground balls.

Likewise, DeFrino already broke her single-season mark with a team-best 67 goals, and is second with 79 points and tied for third with 12 assists. DeFrino also is second with 36 ground balls and tied for second with 19 caused turnovers.

One of the team’s most versatile midfielder, Cole ranks among the team’s statistical leaders at both ends of the field. In the offensive zone, she set careers highs with 38 goals and 50 points, both of which rank third on the squad. Cole also is third with 36 draw controls and fifth with 34 ground balls. 

A four-year starter as a defender, Sawabini is tied for second with a career-high 19 caused turnovers and is seventh with 25 ground balls, which is just two off her personal single-season high.

In her second season as a starter, Vanacore has recorded single-season highs of 35 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers, which tied for third and tied for fourth on the team, respectively.

Benjamin is one of Colorado College’s offensive catalysts. She currently is second on the team with a career-best 24 assists, fourth with 46 points and fifth with 22 goals.

The team’s most versatile player, Taussig is a force at both ends of the field. She leads the Tigers with 51 ground balls and 38 caused turnovers, and is second with 40 draw controls. In the offensive zone, Taussig is fourth with 32 goals and fifth with 41 points.

The first and only varsity head coach in program history, Stuart is a frequent recipient of coach-of-the-year accolades.

She was named West Region Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2014, and 2016, and received the honor from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2011 and 2012.

Colorado College plays Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.