Three William Smith lacrosse players were named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Academic Honor Roll and the entire Heron team was listed as an IWLCA Academic Team according to a recent announcement from the IWLCA.
Led by IWLCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year senior goalie Rebecca Splain (Middlebury Union/Middlebury, Vt.), William Smith was one of 39 Division III teams to post a collective team grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The Herons are one of only seven teams to earn a spot on the IWLCA Academic Team list and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. William Smith can also boast of playing in one of the smartest conferences in the nation. The Liberty League (formerly the UCAA) saw five of its nine teams sport a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Splain was joined on the Academic Honor Roll by senior defender Michelle Steigerwald (Auburn/Auburn, N.Y.) and junior defender Liz Harris (East Rochester/East Rochester, N.Y.). In all, 145 student-athletes were named to the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll.
A chemistry and English double major, Splain has collected more hardware over the past four years than True Value. This spring alone, she won the C. Markland Kelley Division III Goalkeeper of the Year award, was named to three All-America teams, earned Academic All-America honors, and was named William Smith’s most outstanding senior athlete. One of the top goalkeepers in school history, Splain holds the Heron career record for wins (59), ranks second in career saves (627) and career goals against average (6.81), and is seventh in career save percentage (.587). This season, she led the Herons to their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance with a 7.40 goals against average and a .598 save percentage, both of which ranked in the top-20 in the nation.
An economics major, Steigerwald was named to the All-UCAA second-team. She was third on the team in caused turnovers (21) and fifth in ground balls (41), while contributing a pair of goals to the offense.
An education major, Harris was named to the UCAA All-Tournament team and earned first-team All-UCAA honors this season. The two-year starter was fourth on the team in caused turnovers with 18 and picked up 43 ground balls.
The Herons finished the season with a 16-2 overall record, marking the program’s 23rd consecutive winning season and tying the school record for wins in a season. William Smith captured its second consecutive conference title with a 9-8 victory over Union and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Appearing in NCAA postseason play for the 16th time, William Smith fell to Wheaton, 14-13, in the regional semifinals.