Denison senior attack Claire Ludlow (East Grand Rapids, MI/East), Allegheny senior midfielder Jessie Thiessen (Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Chapel) and Oberlin senior goalie Alexa L'Insalata (Plainsboro Twp., NJ/West Windsor-Plainsboro North) have been named the Players of the Year to highlight the 2017 All-North Coast Athletic Conference women's lacrosse selections.
Ludlow, who is making her second-straight appearance on the first team, was named the 2017 NCAC Offensive Player of the Year after finishing the eight-game conference slate with 23 goals and 16 assists for 39 total points (4.9 ppg). Ludlow, who was also a second-team selection in 2015 and an honorable-mention honoree in 2014, netted a hat trick in four of the eight league games this season, highlighted by a five-goal, one-assist effort in a 19-13 win over Wittenberg on April 1st. Her top point production of the season came in an early clash with Allegheny when she scored four goals and handed out three assists for seven total points in a 15-6 win over the Gators on March 4th.
Thiessen, also a repeat selection on the top team, earned the 2017 NCAC Midfielder of the Year distinction after leading all players in conference games with 22 caused turnovers and 34 ground balls, while also finishing third overall in draw controls with 40 (5.0 dpg). She also provided a threat on the offensive side of the ball for the Gators with seven goals and one assist in the league slate, which included netting a hat trick in the 15-8 win at Hiram on April 18th. She also scooped up a season-high 11 ground balls against the Terriers and matched her season-high in NCAC games with four caused turnovers.
L'Insalata was crowned the 2017 NCAC Defensive Player of the Year, making her the first player in league history to win the award twice in a career after she also earned the honor in 2015. She is also making her fourth-career appearance on an All-NCAC team, earning first-team laurels in each of the last three seasons to go along with a second-team nod in 2014. She was the backbone of the Yeowomen's defensive unit this season that allowed just 52 total goals in the eight conference games for a 6.50 goals-against-average. L'Insalata allowed just 46 of those goals and wracked up 80 total saves in 412.05 minutes of action against NCAC opponents for a league-leading .635 save percentage. She eclipsed the double-digit save mark in five of the eight league games, led by a 17-save effort in the Yeowomen's 16-7 win at Wittenberg on April 18th.
Kenyon junior attack Kat Englert (Centennial, CO/Arapahoe) joins L'Insalata as a three-time All-NCAC first-team selection, while Denison sophomore defenderJane Goodspeed (East Grand Rapids, MI/East) landed on the top team for the second year in a row.
Three players made the jump to the first team from the 2016 second team, including Allegheny junior attack Shelby Piper (Littleton, CO/Chatfield), Oberlin junior attack Natalie Rauchle (Edina, MN/Edina) and Denison senior midfielder Reid Hirschey (Edina, MN/Edina).
Five player make their All-NCAC debut as first-team performers in 2017, including Wittenberg sophomore attack Emily Wadds (Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming), Oberlin freshman midfielder Eliza Amber (Chelsea, VT/Chelsea), Wittenberg freshman Rachel Bernard (Kings Mill, OH/Kings), Oberlin senior defender Sloane Garelick (West Windsor, NJ/West Windsor-Plainsboro-South) and Wooster sophomore defender Megan Healy (Ottawa Hills, OH/Ottawa Hills).
Amber was also selected as the 2017 NCAC Newcomer of the Year by vote of the league coaches after tallying 19 points against conference opponents with 16 goals and three assists. She also contributed 27 draw controls, 18 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers in the eight NCAC games. Her top game of the season came on the final day of the regular season when she scored four goals and handed out three assists, to go along with scooping up five ground balls and winning eight draws in a 19-8 win over DePauw on April 29th.
Oberlin head coach Lynda McCandlish was named the NCAC Women's Lacrosse Coach of the Year for the second time in her career after also earning the honor in 2015. She guided the Yeowomen to a second-place finish in the NCAC with a 7-1 mark against league foes, which was the program's best finish in league play since winning the conference title in 1997 with a perfect 7-0 record. In four total years at the helm, McCandlish has helped to turn the program around with an overall record of 43-19 (.694), which includes a pair of appearances in the NCAC Tournament title game in 2015 and once again this season.