November 4, 2011

CUA tunes up for title game by collecting conference awards

WASHINGTON – CUA collected some serious hardware on Friday with eight All-Landmark Conference selections, including seven on the first team.  In addition, Tracey Scanlon was named the Player of the Year, Colleen Harwood received Rookie of the Year accolades and Gia Cillizza and her staff were named Coaching Staff of the Year.

Scanlon has been a major reason for CUA's success this season, totaling nine goals, three assists and 21 points.  Three of her goals have been game-winners, including in overtime earlier this week vs. Juniata in the conference tournament semifinals and against the nation's No. 1 team, Salisbury on October 25. 

Scanlon becomes the second Cardinal in as many seasons to be named the Landmark Player of the Year after Liz Grumbein captured the award in 2010.  This is also the second straight first team all-conference selection for Scanlon.

Harwood is CUA's first Landmark Rookie of the Year, after leading the Cardinals with 13 goals and 29 points.  She ranks second in the conference in points and goals and her three game-winning scores are tied for second best.  Earlier this season Harwood was named the Offensive Player of the Week (10/10).

Joining Scanlon and Harwood on the first team are Mary Swarthout, Kim Hermann, Maura Campbell, Catherine Mirsky and Megan Comunale.

Swarthout continues to be an offensive force, totaling nine goals, seven assists and a conference-leading four game-winning goals.  She ranks sixth in the conference in points and goals and this is her second consecutive all-conference selection.

Hermann burst onto the scene, earning two Player of the Week awards in the first four weeks of the season.  The freshman has scored 11 goals, handed out four assists and scored a pair of game-winners.  She scored twice vs. No. 10 Rowan in September and notched her first career hat trick in a win over Moravian the next week.

Campbell is CUA's third freshman to receive first team recognition.  A native of Media, Pa., Campbell has scored five goals, including one game-winner, and handed out two assists.  She scored twice in CUA's regular season victory over Juniata, and also found the back of the cage in the Cardinals season opening win vs. Washington and Lee.

Mirsky earns her second all-conference honor after being named to the second team in 2010.  The junior has been a major reason for the Cardinals tough D this season, which is holding teams to 0.62 goals per game and has shut out eight opponents.  Mirsky has scored one goal and totaled one assist, and also registered a pair of defensive saves.

Playing behind Mirsky and the CUA defense is Comunale, who earns her first career all-conference accolade.  Comunale leads the conference in save percentage (.855) and goals against average (0.79) and has totaled 55 saves in 786 minutes of action.  She posted a season-high 10 saves vs. No. 1 Salisbury and has held six teams scoreless.

Senior captain Erin Thomas earned a spot on the second team, which is her first career all-conference selection.  Thomas has been a strong performer throughout the year for CUA in the midfield, totaling a defensive save and earning the conference's Defensive Player of the Week award on October 17. 

CUA's eight all-conference selections are the most in school history.

Cilizza and her staff earn their third Landmark Coaching Staff of the Year award and this marks the fourth time in her career that Cilizza has been honored for her coaching efforts (she was named the CAC Coach of the Year in 2006). 

With Cilizza, Kristy Palchinsky, Alicia Grater and Ali Brant leading the way, the Cardinals have been nationally ranked all season, including a current No. 10 ranking.  In addition, CUA ranks in the top-ten nationally in penalty corners per game (2), save percentage (4), goals against average (5), scoring margin (6), winning percentage (7), shutouts per game (8) and goals per game (10).

CUA returns to action on Saturday evening when the Cardinals seek their first Landmark Conference title vs. Drew in the championship game.  Start time from inside Cardinal Stadium is set for 5 p.m.

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