Asher, Ramirez Lead Elon’s 2017 All-CAA WLAX Honorees

RICHMOND, Va. – Elon University placed four student-athletes on the 2017 All-CAA Women’s Lacrosse Teams announced by the conference office Thursday afternoon. The program also added Stephanie Thomson to the All-Academic Team.

For the second-straight year, Stephanie Asher and Rachel Ramirez represent the Phoenix as First Team All-CAA honorees while both Alexis Zadjura and Sloane Kessler repeated as Second Team All-CAA award winners. Thomson’s Academic All-Conference recognition marks the second season in a row she’s earned the distinction.

A three-time CAA Player of the Week this season, Asher has set new program records for goals, points and free position goals in 2017, breaking her two previous records in goals and points. The junior from Glenelg, Md., has tallied 53 goals through the regular season and added 10 assists for 63 points. Twelve times through 17 games, Asher has scored at least three goals in a contest. Her standout games came when she scored six and added two assists for eight points against Davidson while scoring five times apiece against Campbell, No. 13 Virginia and No. 19 Virginia Tech. In March, Asher was named to the Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List with Ramirez, becoming the first two players in program history to make the list for the prestigious award. With 135 career goals, Asher stands 25th among all active players nationally and is the CAA’s active leading scorer.

In the cage, Ramirez has continued her CAA dominance by starting all 17 games thus far on the year. Her 133 saves leads the CAA, but her goals against average of 8.62 is 12th-best in the country with her .487 save percentage 18th-best nationally. The Lindenhurst, N.Y., native set a new program record with nine ground balls against No. 20 Duke back on March 29. She followed it up just a few weeks later with eight ground balls against Hofstra. In CAA play, Ramirez has had a stellar last four games in allowing just 16 goals. Omitting the seven allowed to Hofstra on April 23, Ramirez allowed a total of nine goals against Drexel, Delaware and William & Mary while making 15 saves against the Blue Hens, tying her season high with 15 also against High Point on Feb. 19. Both Ramirez and Asher represented Elon on the Preseason All-CAA Team.

Having appeared in all 17 games to date, Kessler is second on the team with 23 goals and 22 assists this year for 45 points. With two more assists, the senior would break her own program record for most in a season. Kessler got off to a quick start to the season in scoring six goals over the course of the first three games, but her campaign best came March 8 when she tallied four goals in the 12-9 win over Vanderbilt. Four times this year, Kessler has amassed at least three assists in a game. She did so in back-to-back games in February with four apiece against Winthrop and High Point. A captain all four years at Elon, Kessler was also tabbed a Preseason All-CAA honorable mention.

Zadjura has been an anchor on Elon’s back line this season, starting all 17 games on the year an accumulating 29 ground balls, 30 draw controls and 22 caused turnovers with just seven turnovers herself. The junior was a bright spot in Elon’s loss at No. 2 North Carolina with four ground balls and four caused turnovers. Last time out against William & Mary, Zadjura had two ground balls, two caused turnovers and four draw controls. She has been named an All-CAA performer in each of her three seasons with the Phoenix, earning All-Rookie Team honors in 2015 to go with her now back-to-back Second Team All-CAA awards.

With her CAA All-Academic Team award, Thomson has now taken the honor each of the last two seasons. That follows in the footsteps of Kelli Stack’s Atlantic Sun and CAA Academic All-Conference honors in 2014 and 2015. Thomson, a junior from Weston, Conn., is a marketing and finance major and leads the team in the classroom. At Monday’s Elon Athletics Awards Banquet, she was named the team’s Scholar-Athlete award recipient for the second-straight season.

Elon will start CAA Tournament play on Friday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. when it takes on second-seeded Towson. The semifinal at Johnny Unitas Stadium can be seen on Lax Sports Network with the winner advancing to Sunday’s title game at 1 p.m. against the winner of No. 1 James Madison and No. 4 Delaware.

2017 CAA Women’s Lacrosse All-Conference Teams
First Team

Stephanie Asher, Elon
Kristen Gaudian, James Madison
Natalie Sulmonte, Towson
Becky Gohsler, Delaware
Kaitlyn Montalbano, Towson
Alyssa Parrella, Hofstra
Elena Romesburg, James Madison
Haley Warden, James Madison
Olivia Conti, Towson
Abby Junior, William & Mary
Tianna Wallpher, Towson
Rachel Ramirez, Elon

Second Team
Samantha Brookhart, Towson
Katie Kerrigan, James Madison
Sloane Kessler, Elon
Nadia Pelham-Lacey, Drexel
Carly Tellekamp, Towson
Emily Gillingham, Towson
Coley Ricci, Delaware
Drew Shapiro, Hofstra
Mary Abram, Delaware
Rebecca Tooker, James Madison
Eva Winiarski, Drexel
Alexis Zadjura, Elon
Taylor Carpentier, Delaware

All-Rookie Team
Sami Chenoweth, Towson
Olivia Conti, Towson
Mia DeRuggiero, Delaware
Courtney Dietzel, Drexel
Emma Johnson, James Madison
Christine Long, Delaware
Alexa Mattera, Hofstra
Maddie McDaniel, James Madison
Alyssa Parrella, Hofstra
Sydney Rausa, Delaware
Darcie Smith, Hofstra

2017 CAA Player of the Year: Haley Warden, James Madison
2017 CAA Defensive Player of the Year: Olivia Conti, Towson
2017 CAA Rookie of the Year: Alyssa Parrella, Hofstra
2017 CAA Coach of the Year: Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe, James Madison

All-Academic Team
Maddie Dickman, Towson
Julia McGrath, William & Mary
Maura McNutt, Delaware
Dominique Nyzio, Drexel
Elena Romesburg, James Madison
Stephanie Thomson, Elon
Elena Schorr, Hofstra