Paige Hanson, a senior attacker on the national champion North Carolina lacrosse team, was honored earlier this month as one of the NCAA's Elite 89 Award winners with a trip to the NCAA men's basketball Final Four and a Bruce Springsteen concert.
The Elite 89 Awards recognize the one player at the final four in each of the NCAA's 89 sports with the highest cumulative GPA. Hanson, a Bryn Mawr graduate majoring in journalism and mass communications, had the stellar GPA among all the players in last season's semifinals. She had a 3.801 GPA at that time and will graduate with highest honors in May.
"The trip to the Final Four in Texas was truly an unforgettable experience," Hanson said in a statement on the university website. "Between seeing Bruce Springsteen perform live from 50 feet away at the Capitol One Jamfest in downtown Dallas and attending the championship game in the enormous Cowboys Stadium, I was in awe the entire weekend."
Saturday's Loyola-Navy winner to host Patriot League tournament
The big prize for the winner of Saturday's first-ever meeting between Loyola Maryland and Navy is the chance to host the next week's Patriot League tournament.
The No. 20 Midshipmen have hosted the tournament the past three years and won every one, but in its inaugural season in the league, No. 14 Loyola has blown through its first seven games by an average of 10.3 goals. Navy is 6-1 after another Patriot League newcomer, Boston University, ended the Mids' 15-game league winning streak, 9-8, a month ago.
If the Greyhounds win, they take the regular-season title outright. If Navy wins, the teams share the title, but the head-to-head win would give the Mids the right to host the tournament. If Navy wins, it would host the tournament Friday and Sunday, April 24 and 26, but if Loyola wins, the games would be moved to Thursday and Saturday, because the Loyola men will host the men's Patriot League tournament Friday and Sunday.
Loyola came to the Patriot League this spring from the Big East, where the Greyhounds reached the four-team tournament the past four years, winning the title in 2011 and 2012. Last season, they fell to Georgetown in the semifinals but still earned a berth in the NCAA tournament with a 10-8 record and made it to the second round.
Navy won its fourth straight Patriot League title last spring, 14-4 over Holy Cross, and went on to reach the NCAA tournament second round.
Robert Morris sophomore Jessica Karwacki continues to dominate the draw like no one else in NCAA women's lacrosse history. The Hereford graduate won seven in the Colonials' 9-8 overtime win at Central Connecticut on Saturday to bring her season total to 162. Two weeks ago, she broke her own single-season NCAA record of 152 when she grabbed 17 draws against Bryant.
Karwacki needs just 29 more to break the career record of 353 set by Vermont's Kristen Millar in 2009. Considering that she averages 13 draw controls per game and holds the NCAA single-game record with 25, she should easily break the career record with three regular-season games left, plus the team has an excellent shot at making the Northeast Conference tournament.
Division III No. 1 Salisbury won its 101st straight Capital Athletic Conference game with Wednesday's 9-4 victory over Marymount. The Sea Gulls have gone undefeated in the CAC for the past 12 years. … Duke's 7-6 overtime win at North Carolina on Wednesday has the all-time series nearly even, with the Tar Heels leading 15-14. … Johns Hopkins freshman goalie Caroline Federico (Maryvale) ranks second in Division I with a 5.84 goals-against average.