College Notebook: Leonard leads Griffs to MAAC title

It has been quite a week for junior Morgan Leonard, of the Canisius College women's lacrosse team.

The Liberty graduate began accumulating personal honors with Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week on April 23. Three days later, Leonard was named MAAC co-Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-MAAC.

Over the weekend, she combined individual with team accomplishments. Leonard led the Golden Griffins to their second straight MAAC championship, earning tournament MVP honors in the process.

In Canisius' 15-11 finals win over Fairfield Sunday, Leonard matched a season high with five points and four goals while adding two draw controls, two caused turnovers and two ground balls. She had eight goals, nine points, seven draw controls, four ground balls and three caused turnovers in the Griffins' two tourney victories.

Canisius (10-8) advances to play UMass Sunday in an NCAA tournament play-in game. Leonard has been a huge part of that with team highs of 45 ground balls and 40 caused turnovers while also contributing 26 goals, 35 points and 37 draw controls.

DARIAN THE BARBARIAN: In just its first varsity men's lacrosse season, Albright College is headed to the Commonwealth Conference championship game, and freshman midfielder Darian Meador (Westminster) helped make that happen.

Meador ranks second in the league with 125 ground balls and leads Albright with a 56.7 faceoff winning percentage on a team-best 351 attempts. He also has chipped in six goals, two assists and 11 caused turnovers in 18 games (17 starts).

Two of his biggest goals came April 24 when he scored a pair of shorthanded markers in a nine-second span to lead the Lions to an 11-1 win that clinched them the postseason berth.

In the Commonwealth semifinals, Meador had one assist, five ground balls, a caused turnover and won nine of 13 faceoffs to help the team improve to 16-2 with a 6-4 victory over Lebanon Valley. The Lions face Widener in the Commonwealth championship tonight at 7.

TEWAARATON NOMINEE: Junior midfielder Katie Schwarzmann (Century) was one of three University of Maryland women's lacrosse players among the 25 nominees for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award last Wednesday.

Schwarzmann, who was a finalist for the award as a sophomore, was named ACC tournament MVP last week after leading the Terps to their fourth straight ACC title. She had a team-high 61 goals and ranked second with 74 points entering Maryland's regular-season finale Wednesday.

ALL-NEC MOUNTAINEERS: Senior defender Meaghan Conlon (Liberty) and sophomore defender Gabe Little (North Carroll), of the Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse team, garnered All-Northeast Conference recognition last week, and then helped MSM reach the conference championship game over the weekend.

However, the Mount lost 11-3 to finish the season 8-11.

Conlon earned first-team honors for ranking second on the team with 31 ground balls, 48 draw controls and 25 caused turnovers. She added three goals. Little was named to the second team after leading the Mountaineers with 36 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers.

ALL-CAC BOBCAT: Junior Taylor Vandegrift (Winters Mill), an outfielder with the Frostburg State University softball team, was named to the All-Capital Athletic Conference second team for the second consecutive season.

She was one of two Bobcats to break the school hits record this season, finishing second on the team with 59. Vandegrift batted .404 with 33 runs and a .446 on-base percentage as the team's leadoff hitter. She switched to center field this season and led the team with five outfield assists while ranking third on the squad in steals and walks.

That helped Frostburg State go 23-18 and make its second straight run to the CAC tournament finals, where it lost to Salisbury.

LOCAL LADEN: Last weekend's Colonial Athletic Association women's lacrosse tournament was filled with former county players, especially on champion Towson.

The top-seeded Tigers beat Drexel 12-11 in the semifinals and James Madison 8-7 for the championship. Decorating Towson's roster are four locals - senior midfielder Katie DeFilippo (South Carroll), sophomore midfielder Katie Leech (Winters Mill), sophomore midfielder Kelly Murkey (Westminster) and sophomore attack Ashleigh Rohrback (Westminster). Rohrback had one goal and two assists in the finals.

James Madison has five from Carroll on its roster - senior midfielder Caitlin McHugh (Westminster/Mercy), freshman midfielder Jordan Wilkins (Westminster), sophomore midfielder Amy Roguski (Liberty), freshman goalkeeper Schylar Healy (Liberty) and freshman defender Lexi Cross (Liberty).

Healy, who was named to the CAA All-Rookie team, made four saves in the finals. Roguski scored three goals in the loss to Towson. McHugh, who was named first-team All-CAA, scored a goal in the championship.

JMU beat Hofstra 10-9 in the semifinals. Junior attack Claire Brady (Century) plays for the Pride.