ATLANTA (April 25, 2018) – The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) announced the 2018 All-SAA Women's Lacrosse awards, Tuesday. The award winners were selected exclusively by the league's head coaches and SAA staff.
Kendall Cunningham of Rhodes was named SAA Offensive Player of the Year. Natalie Marek of Centre was named the SAA Defensive Player of the Year while Ryanne Ritter of Birmingham-Southern captured the league's SAA Newcomer of the Year honor. Finally, Monica Scott of Centre earned the league's SAA Coach of the Year award.
Like she has her entire career, Cunningham has been a force on the offensive side of the field. The senior attacker again led the SAA in goals (78), shots (159), and shots on goal (119). She also ranked second in total points (92), and third in free position goals (21).
The all-time SAA leader in points and goals, Cunningham led Rhodes 13-3 record. In 16 matches, Cunningham scored multiple goals 15 times. That included eight against both Chapman and BSC.
On the opposite side of the field, Marek was the league's top goalkeeper. After leading Centre to a second-place finish in the SAA regular season, the Colonel backstop played more minutes in net than any other SAA player (990 minutes). She ranked first in goals-against average (7.21) and wins (13). She also led the league in winning percentage (86.7) while ranking second in saves (133) and save percentage (52.8).
In her first season of collegiate lacrosse, Ritter was the league's top offensive newcomer. The BSC freshman ranked sixth overall in points (73) fifth in goals (57), and third in shots (127).
Additionally, she ranked among the SAA leaders in shots on goal (100), and free position goals (24). In league play, Ritter ranked second in goals and shots.
Finally, Scott led the Colonels to a 15-2 overall record. During the regular season, Centre had a 15 game winning streak. The Colonels' lone loss came by two points against SAA Regular Season Champion Rhodes.
Statistically, Centre ranked first in goals (298), shots (681), goals against (119), and goals against average (7.00). Additionally, Centre ranked second in assists (129), ground balls (464), draws (253), save percentage (53.0) and caused turnovers (217).
For a complete list of honorees, please click the link above.
About the SAA
The SAA is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III and is committed to fostering athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, residential liberal arts colleges located in the southeastern region of the United States. The SAA core members include Berry College, Birmingham-Southern College, Centre College, Hendrix College, Millsaps College, Oglethorpe University, Rhodes College, and the University of the South.
The SAA also has affiliate memberships with Transylvania University, Concordia Wisconsin, and Ferrum College in field hockey and Trinity University and Austin College in the sport of football.