HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team announced its 2010 team awards in a ceremony Sunday afternoon. Awards for outstanding attack, midfielder, and defensive player were handed out along with honors for most improved player and the Becca M. Kohli Ultimate Bobcat Award.
Team captain Katie Latonick (Severna Park, Md.) was named the team's Outstanding Attack Player after a standout final season with the Bobcats. Latonick was named to the All-Northeast Conference First Team after tying her own single-season program record with 44 assists in 2010. She graduates as the program's all-time leader in assists with 110 in four seasons. She was previously named the team's Most Valuable Player and also named the Quinnipiac Athletics Female Athlete of the Year after guiding the Bobcats to a third straight appearance in the NEC Championship Game.
"Katie had an outstanding season to cap off a great career," Head Coach Danie Caro said. "She really elevated her game and became a complete offensive player for us. She was one of the main reasons the team overachieved this season."
Junior Lauren Matuszczak (East Longmeadow, Mass.) was honored as the team's Outstanding Midfielder. Matuszczak's 29 goals this season were second on the team, including three in the Bobcats' NEC semifinal win over Monmouth, 8-4. Her performance in the regular season earned her a spot on the All-NEC First team, while her four goals and five points in two NEC Tournament games garnered a spot on her second straight NEC All-Tournament Team.
"Lauren is finally starting to fulfill the promise she showed as a freshman," said Caro. "She has always had the talent to be one of our better players, but this year she demonstrated the maturity and consistency needed to be a go to player on a regular basis."
Junior Kaitlyn Kelly (North Massapequa, N.Y.) was honored as the Outstanding Defensive Player by the team after being named the 2010 NEC Defensive Player of the Year. She joined Latonick and Matuszczak on the All-NEC First Team after leading the Bobcats in ground balls (41), draw controls (44) and caused turnovers (25) in 17 games this season. Twice in 2010 she was named the NEC Defensive Player of the Week and was named to the NEC All-Tournament Team.
"Kaitlyn has emerged into one of the most dominating defenders in the history of the program," Caro said. "Her presence alone forces other teams to change their game plans on attack. She has also become a vocal leader for our defensive unit, which allowed us to really have a successful season this spring."
The team's Most Improved Player honor went to junior goalkeeper Lexi Destefano (Brookfield, Conn.). The third-year member of the Bobcats stepped up early in the season, taking over as the team's starting goalkeeper. Posting impressive stats throughout the season, DeStefano helped the Bobcats to an 8-1 mark in the NEC in 2010 and a spot in its seventh consecutive conference postseason tournament. Entering this season, she had played in just four games with no starts before seeing action in 14 games with nine starts on her way to a 7-2 mark in 2010.
"Lexi has worked so hard to improve her game the past couple of years, and this year her efforts paid off," Caro said. "She became our top goalkeeper during our run up to the playoffs. Her work ethic and success both challenged and inspired her teammates to raise their own level of play."
The Becca M. Kohli Ultimate Bobcat Award is given to the player who embodies the characteristics of the ideal student-athlete. They must excel on the field and in the classroom and demonstrate loyalty and dedication to the team. This year's award was given to senior defender Brittany Hauser (East Northport, N.Y.). The Bobcats' assistant captain was named to her third All-NEC Second Team in 2010 and was a major contributor to the Bobcats' success this past season. Her drawn charge in the final minutes against Monmouth in the regular season led to the Bobcats pushing the ball up field and scoring with just five seconds remaining.
"If I could have a team full of players like Brittany Hauser, I'd be one of the happiest coaches in all of college sports," Caro said. "She works hard, is selfless on and off the field, is dedicated to improving herself and her teammates, and has demonstrated unwavering loyalty to the program."
Previous Lacrosse MVPs:
2009: Ashley Valentine '09
2008: Tiffany Manzi '09
2007: Hannah Nelson '09
2006: Vanessa Miranda '06
2005: Christy Smallman '05