By Ana Braccialli
The UT men and women’s lacrosse teams represented the Spartans well on Feb. 25, receiving five player of the week nominations in the same week. The women’s team beat the North Greenville University Crusaders by 14-6 after upsetting the No. 12 Limestone College Saints by a final score of 20-11.
Due to their performance, Bridget Sutter, sophomore goalkeeper, earned the Defensive Player of the Week honor, while her teammate, Carly Vaccaro, junior attacker earned Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Offensive Player of the Week.
“For me to win player of the week was an overall amazing feeling,” said Vaccaro. “Especially as a junior and after all the hard work that’s been put in since freshman year when I started.”
Vaccaro earned the award after recording seven points on three goals and four assists against the Saints and six points from six goals against the Crusaders. According to the attacker, her goal is to keep obtaining the feeling and thrill of achieving something they’ve never done before.
“I think we are all so passionate this season and willing to do whatever it takes mentally and physically,” said Vaccaro. “I’m just excited to see where this season takes us.”
Sutter was selected as Defensive Player of the Week after she registered 12 saves on 23 shot attempts against Limestone and 13 saves on 19 shot attempts against North Greenville. Sutter picked up six ground balls and helped UT to 33-36 in clearing attempts.
The head coach Kelly Gallagher couldn’t be more proud of the hard work and resilience of the team, especially from Vaccaro and Sutter.
“Any time our players are recognized is a great feeling,” said Gallagher. “Both Bridget and Carly stood out across our two games this past weekend and that is why they were awarded this honor.”
The women’s lacrosse team is 11th in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll, which is the highest rank in program history. However, according to Gallagher, the team is not doing anything different other than building on their past successes.
“Our program is in year six, we have built the program to compete at this level since day one,” said Gallagher. “We are experienced enough to do it at this time. Our team is working really hard and having a lot of fun together.”
Men’s lacrosse also delivered its fair share of awards. Three athletes earned SSC player of the week honors after their performance against Lenoir-Rhyne Beats.
Jake McGraw, junior attacker, earned the award after recording five points off of three goals and two assists against the Bears. He took six shots, placing four on cage and added two ground balls.
“Jake was a second team all American from last year and also off to a good start,” said Rory Whipple, head coach. “Six goals and four assists. It was great to have a sweep of players of the week.”
Following McGraw, B. J. Borowski, sophomore goalkeeper, received player of the week after registering a 65.5 percent save while facing 30 shots on goal. The goalkeeper made 19 saves, allowed ten goals, and picked up six ground balls.
According to Whipple, Borowski had a great game against the Bears, but he will need to be more consistent throughout the year.
Ross Dickerson was selected as Specialist Player of the week due to his performance against the Bears recording 23-28 in faceoffs and adding 15 ground balls during the game.
“Ross Dickerson could be the best face off guy in the nation,” said Whipple. “[He] was a second team all American last year and beat the preseason first team all American from Adelphi [University].”
Dickerson has been awarded Specialist of the Year five time in his college career. As of Feb. 22, three days before receiving the specialist of the week, the junior had a 76.9 percent of face-off winning. This ranks him No. 8 in Division II.
The next game for the women’s team will be at home against Seton Hill on March 9 at noon The men’s team will be on the road to play against Lindenwood, at St. Louis on March 9 at 1 p.m.
Ana Braccialli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org