Navy Defensive Duo Picks Up Patriot League Player of the Week Awards
April 6, 2009
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Navy defensive duo of sophomore Caitlin Mandrin Hill (Annapolis, Md.) and freshman Elaina Ponchione (Silver Spring, Md.) have been selected as the Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Defensive Player and Goalkeeper of the Week, respectively, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
Both Mandrin Hill, a defensive midfielder, and Ponchione, Navy's talented rookie netminder, played integral roles as the Mids limited the opposition to only six goals per game in a pair of victories this past week.
It marks the fourth time Mandrin Hill has been honored by the league this season and the fifth time in her career, while it is Ponchione's second certificate this spring. Thus far this season, four Navy players have garnered a total of nine Patriot League weekly awards.
In a key road conference win last Wednesday at American, Mandrin Hill played a major role in limiting the Eagles' top-two scorers, Amanda Makoid and Leslie Fischer, to a combined three points. She also added a late insurance goal, had an assist and a pair of caused turnovers in the 8-6 victory.
On Saturday against Davidson, Mandrin Hill, who entered this past week No. 7 nationally in caused turnovers per game, once again contributed a goal an an assist, while collecting three draws and forcing a game-high four turnovers.
On the season, she leads the Patriot League in caused turnovers per game (2.36/gm) and is tied for second on the team in scoring with a career-best 32 points (18 g, 14 a).
While Mandrin Hill and Navy's defensive corps did an admirable job limiting the traffic inside the 12-meter fan, on the occasions when the opposition did manage to break through, Ponchione stood strong as the Mids' last line of defense.
She came up huge against American, making six saves, allowing just six goals and helping hold the Eagles to only one conversion on six free position attempts. In the first half of that contest, Ponchione's stick skills and proficiency in the clearing game helped lead to a late Navy goal in transition with just 15 ticks left to push the Mids lead to 3-1 at the break.
Ponchione once again was strong in Saturday's 13-6 win over the visiting Wildcats, turning away six Wildcat shots and allowing six goals, including just two as the game was decided over the final 30 minutes.
On the spring, she now owns a conference-best 8.33 goals-against average and a 49.2 save percentage in 11 games.
2009 Navy Honors and Awards Kierstin King - Patriot League Rookie of the Week (2/24. 3/16) Caitlin Mandrin Hill - Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week (2/17, 2/24, 3/16, 4/6) Elaina Ponchione - Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week (2/17, 4/6) Erin Rawlick - Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year - Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week (2/17) - Nike/Inside Lacrosse Division I Player of the Week (2/17)
The visiting Gaels bring a 2-8 mark into the Tuesday afternoon matchup. They are coming off a 17-4 win over DI newcomer Fresno State on Saturday. The victory halted the team's recent five-game losing skid, and was its first since defeating Presbyterian on March 1. Senior midfielder P.J. Hainley led Saint Mary's in that contest with a game-high four goals and one assist. On the year, Hainley paces the Gaels with 34 points (27 g, 7 a).
Navy and Saint Mary's have played three common opponents this season - Presbyterian, Davidson and Colgate. The Gaels topped the Blue Hose 15-6, while dropping 13-10 and 15-6 decisions to the Wildcats and Raiders, respectively.
The two teams met a year ago on March 9 in Annapolis, with the Mids riding a dominant first-half effort on their way to an 18-6 win.
Live stats for all Navy home games are available via GameTracker on www.NavySports.com(.)
## GO NAVY! ##