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Seven Spiders Honored by A-10, Geiersbach Named Rookie of the Year
Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
Release: 05/03/2017
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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A historic season for the University of Richmond women's lacrosse team has culminated in a record-breaking nine All-Atlantic 10 Conference honors and two All-Academic nods for the Spiders.

Freshman Sam Geiersbach led the way with three awards, including Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, while Megan Gianforte and Leslie Espenschied both took home took accolades.

Geiersbach becomes the first Spider to earn Rookie of the Year honors since 2015, when Kim Egizi earned the league's highest honor for the freshman class.

Egizi and Gianforte were both named to the All-Conference First Team, while Geiersbach, Marissa Brown, Caroline Queally and Espenschied all earned Second Team honors. Geiersbach and Gianforte were also named to the All-Rookie squad.

The nine All-Conference honors this season are the most in program history.

Espenschied and Aly Fries were both honored for their performances on and off the field, earning spots on the A-10 All-Academic team.

Geiersbach posted one of the most successful performances by a rookie in Spider women's lacrosse history, finishing the regular season with 70 points on a conference-high 55 goals and 15 assists. The freshman broke the single-season scoring record for a Spider rookie in the final game of the regular season against VCU, and is just seven goals shy of tying the program record for goals in a season. She earned Rookie of the Week honors five times throughout the season, tying the program record.

Egizi continued a stellar career on attack in her third season with the Spiders after earning Second Team honors last season. The Westwood, Mass., native reached the 100 point, 100 ground ball and 100 draw control milestones this season, and is just seven goals shy of reaching 100 for her career. Her 82 draw controls rank fourth in the conference this season, while her 30 assists on the year tie for fifth all-time in a single season at Richmond.

A four-time A-10 Defensive Player of the Week, Gianforte was honored as the top goalie in the conference for her performance in the cage this season. The rookie stopped 149 shots this season, and is ranked in the top-16 in the nation in both save percentage (.495) and goals allowed average (9.09). She becomes the first Spider goalie to earn First Team honors since Jackie Swansburg did so back in 2007, and the first rookie to earn First Team honors wince 2006.

Brown had a breakout season for the Spiders after earning All-Rookie honors a year ago. The Davidsonville, Md., native broke the Spider single-season record for assists that was set by Mandy Friend back in 2008, and currently has 38 helpers on the year, good for 15th in the nation. She ranks second on the team in points with 68, and is just four points shy of hitting 100 for her career.

Queally is no stranger to breaking records after taking down the single-season mark for draw controls last season. The midfielder hit the career mark in just her third season in a Spider uniform, taking down the previous record of 202. She has now won 242, and ranks fifth among active players in career draw control wins.

Espenschied earns her second conference honor in as many years after leading the 16th-best scoring defense in the nation. The senior earned Defensive Player of the Week once this season, and had excelled at marking opponents' top scorers. She leads the team with 16 caused turnovers and is third with 29 ground balls.  Off the field, Espenschied has excelled in the classroom, earning her second All-Academic team honor. The Business Administration major was named the Robins School of Business Student-Athlete of the Year and winner of the 2017 Presidential Citation Award. She has also been named to the Dean's list the last six semesters, the A-10 commissioner's honor roll, and is a member of the Mortar Board.

Fries served as an important reserve on attack this season, seeing major minutes in all 17 of the Spiders' games and scoring 14 goals. The sophomore also collected six ground balls and caused four turnovers. Academically, the Business Administration major was named to the Dean's List and the A-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll.

The Spiders kick off Atlantic 10 Championship play as the No. 3 seed on Thursday against La Salle. First draw at Saint Joseph's Sweeney Field is set for 3:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to face the host on Friday afternoon.


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