FOREST, Va. --- Two-time defending ODAC champion University of Lynchburg earned a league-best seven all-conference laurels in addition to three special individual honors to lead the 2019 All-ODAC Field Hockey Awards.
Lynchburg forward Jackie Lerro took home the reminted ODAC Offensive Player of the Year, while Shenandoah University goalkeeper Isabella Morande is the inaugural recipient of the ODAC Defensive Player of the Year award. Lynchburg mentor Enza Steele collected her second straight ODAC Coach of the Year accolade, while Washington and Lee University midfielder Kaily Fitzgerald received ODAC Rookie of the Year recognition. Lynchburg goalkeeper Laurel Nicks earned the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year award from the league's sports information directors.
The list of repeat All-ODAC honorees is lengthy for a second straight season with 15 student-athletes picking up awards for the second straight year. That includes all but three members of the 11-woman All-ODAC First Team. Lerro and teammate Alexis Brown repeat on the first team along with Roanoke College's Emilee Wooten, Shenandoah's Taylor Hayes, and Washington and Lee's Lauren Paolano. Randolph-Macon College's Maria Teresa Ambrogi-Torres and Shenandoah's Kelsey Jones moved up from the All-ODAC Second Team, and R-MC's Claire Magill made the leap from the All-ODAC First Team.
RELATED: 2018 All-ODAC Awards | All-Time All-Conference
Lerro, a junior from Royersford, Va., put together her second career 20-goal season and eclipsed 50 points for the third straight year in leading Lynchburg to back-to-back league crowns. Lerro currently leads the ODAC in points (53) and goals scored (20). She is tied for second in assists (13). She registered at least one point in 15-of-20 games played with six games of five or more points. Twice she posted a season-best nine points with four goals and an assist in a non-conference win at Stevenson and the same stat line in an ODAC victory over Virginia Wesleyan. Entering the NCAA Tournament, Lerro owns career totals of 162 points on 67 goals and 28 assists.
Morande, a junior from Gloucester, Va., spearheads a defense that allowed a league-low 19 goals in all games played and just eight goals against conference opponents. Morande is second in the ODAC in overall save percentage (.808), goals-against-average (1.09), and goals allowed (19). She has made 80 saves on the season including 36 against conference teams. In league play, her averages sit at .818 save percentage, 1.04 GAA, and eight goals against. She made a season-high eight saves in a non-conference contest against St. Mary's (Md.), having registered five or more saves in a game 10 times.
Steele, in her 40th season guiding Lynchburg's field hockey program, enjoys her 11th ODAC top-coaching honor. She previously earned the recognition in 1982, 1984, 1988, 1989, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2018. The Hornets captured an ODAC record 20th conference title on Saturday, their second straight league trophy. Lynchburg ran thru its league slate unbeaten on the way to a 18-3 overall record. The Hornets will make their 18th appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday. Steele became the fifth overall and third Division III field hockey head coach to cross 600 career victories with Lynchburg's 3-1 triumph over Wooster just before the ODAC Tournament. She currently boasts a 602-231-11 (.720) career record.
Fitzgerald, a first-year from Chevy Chase, Md., became an integral part to Washington and Lee's midfield from day one. Playing on the right side, Fitzgerald was active on every play for the Generals as a defensive-minded midfielder that keyed W&L's transition game. She was also a part of its defensive penalty corner unit. Offensively, Fitzgerald got forward for a pair of assists in league games and three overall.
Nicks, a junior from Yorktown, Va., pairs this honor with an All-ODAC Third Team selection as Lynchburg's goalkeeper. In the classroom, Nicks owns a 3.972 grade point average while majoring in chemistry with minors in biology, history, and environmental studies. A two-time member of the ODAC All-Academic Team, Nicks completed a 2019 summer research internship with the NASA Langley Research Center's Polymer Synthesis Lab, working on composite materials for spacecraft uses. She is a class representative in the Westover Honors College, treasurer for the University's EMS squad (she is a certified EMT), and is a faculty research assistant in the chemistry lab. She also studied abroad in Croatia over May term.
On the field, Nicks owns the ODAC's top goals-against-average at 0.98, having allowed just 20 goals including three against league foes. She is 10th with 63 overall saves (14 in league) and sixth with a .759 save percentage. Against ODAC teams, her save percentage sits at .824.
Listed below are the 2019 All-ODAC Field Hockey Awards. For more information, visit any of the participating schools' websites, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
ODAC Offensive Player of the Year: Jackie Lerro, Jr., F, Lynchburg
ODAC Defensive Player of the Year: Isabella Morande, Jr., GK, Shenandoah
ODAC Coach of the Year: Enza Steele, Lynchburg
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Kailey Fitzgerald, Fy., M, Washington and Lee
ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete: Laurel Nicks, Jr., GK, Lynchburg
|ALL-ODAC FIRST TEAM|
|Maria Teresa Ambrogi-Torres^||Jr.||F||Randolph-Macon|
|Lauren Paolano*||Sr.||F||Washington and Lee|
|ALL-ODAC SECOND TEAM|
|Brandy Troutman||So.||D||Eastern Mennonite|
|Cori Jackson^||Sr.||M||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Elizabeth Roberto+||Sr.||D||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Caroline Caruso+||Jr.||D||Washington and Lee|
|Kailey Fitzgerald||Fy.||M||Washington and Lee|
|ALL-ODAC THIRD TEAM|
|Julie Fassl+||Jr.||F||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Tess Muneses||Fy.||F||Washington and Lee|
|Grace Weise||So.||F||Washington and Lee|
|* 2018 First Team
^ 2018 Second Team
+ 2018 Third Team