Jessica Lavelle, a senior defender from SUNY Cortland, was named the 2014 DIII Woman of the Year nominee for women's lacrosse as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
She is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DIII Woman Athlete of the Year honor. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 38th year.
Lavelle, a native of Fayetteville, N.Y., is a two-time Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) first-team All-American and was named the IWLCA Div. III National Defender of the Year last year.
The senior captain started all 23 contests and paced her squad with 40 ground balls and 48 caused turnovers while leading her team to the NCAA Div. III semifinals for the fourth straight season.
"I appreciate it so much to be nominated for Woman of the Year, “ stated Lavelle. “It is such an honor, and I'm so grateful for all of the opportunities lacrosse has given me."
"Jess Lavelle is not only a shutdown defender, she is a takeaway defender,” said head coach Kathy Taylor. “She is a gifted athlete who is instinctual when hunting the ball. In a sport that allows teams to stall with the ball to ensure victory, Jess makes you believe you are never out of the game. She is as tough a competitor as I have ever had the privilege to coach. She will be impossible to replace. Players like Jess only come around every great once in awhile.“
All sports nominees from DIII and DII become a finalist for the prestigious 2014 CWSA Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in June. The sports nominees are recognized in 11 DIII and DII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.