Taylor Nelson's selection as the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Defensive Most Valuable Player was the highlight as she was joined by six of her Albion College teammates on the all-MIAA women's lacrosse teams released by Sheila Blackman, the league's director of media relations on Tuesday.
A senior from Simi Valley, Calif., Nelson anchored a defense that surrendered a MIAA-low 48 goals to league rivals. Despite playing only seven of the eight games against MIAA rivals, Nelson leads all players with 23 caused turnovers while her 34 ground balls ranks eighth.
Nelson is Albion's first Defensive MVP since goalkeeper Victoria Della Pia was selected for the award in 2015.
Albion's depth of talent across the field was recognized as Nelson was joined on the all-MIAA first team by senior attacker Cait Gaitley, senior midfielder Shannon Kahl and sophomore goalkeeper Jenina Villabroza. Sophomore attacker Darcy Muns, senior midfielder Lauren Wiegand and junior defender Jordan Church were second team picks.
A product of Grosse Pointe North High School, Gaitley is second in the MIAA with 38 goals and 48 points. She is one of the most efficient players in the league, placing nearly 84 percent of her shots on goal and scoring 51 ½ percent of the time.
Kahl and Wiegand, both from Brighton, Mich., are best known for their work in making the Britons successful clearing the ball from the defense to offense. In addition to scoring 18 goals, Kahl has 40 ground balls, tying her for second in the MIAA. Wiegand's totals include 13 goals and 29 ground balls.
Villabroza, from Glendale, Calif., leads all goalkeepers with a 56.2 save percentage and her 6.57 goals against average was best in the league among goalkeepers who played in at least seven of the eight contests against MIAA rivals.
Muns, from Lake Orion, Mich., has also been efficient on the attack. She has placed nearly 84 percent of her shots on goal, scoring nearly 49 percent of the time with 18 goals.
Church, from Canton, Mich., is tied for ninth in the MIAA with 16 caused turnovers.
Albion, 11-4 overall and 7-1 against MIAA rivals during the regular season, has a 5 p.m. Wednesday date with Saint Mary's College in the semifinal round of the MIAA Tournament. Admission - $7 for general admission and $5 for non-MIAA students – will be charged at the entrance to the Davis Athletic Complex. MIAA faculty and students must present their ID card to be admitted free.
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