DANBURY, Conn. – Transitioning into new roles in a final season isn't the easiest, but a pair of veteran Hawks excelled tremendously this year and continue to rack in the postseason accolades as senior defender Sinead Brierley has been selected onto the 2019 All-ECAC First Team and senior attacker Francesca Donato has been tabbed to the Second Team, organization officials announced on Thursday afternoon. Both Brierley and Donato were also selected to the Atlantic 10 Conference's First Teams in their respective positions, as well.
Brierley transitioned from an offensive to defensive role for her final campaign, broke into a starting spot, and completely ran the back line en route to team-best numbers in ground balls (52) and caused turnovers (33). Her 18 caused turnovers in league play ranked third among conference defenders, and Brierley forced three caused turnovers apiece against Duquesne, George Washington, and George Mason and added four ground balls against the Dukes and Patriots.
Against nationally-ranked competition, Brierley scrapped for four ground balls and two caused turnovers at then-#17 Johns Hopkins and three ground balls at then-#13 Navy. Additional highlights include a career-high four caused turnovers against Delaware and a career-high five ground balls against St. Bonaventure.
She graduated from Saint Joseph's this past weekend tied for the second-most caused turnovers in a season (33) and owning the third-most ground balls in a season (52) in program history... both from this spring.
Stepping up big after a Hawk injury impacted SJU's starting attacking unit, 2019 A-10 Offensive Player of the Year Donato turned in one of the most successful offensive seasons in Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse history this spring, leading the team in total points (89), goals (47), and assists (42) through 19 games, all starts; her points and assists totals stand as single-season program records. With nine points (5g, 4a), Donato led SJU to an 18-15 win over VCU in the 2019 A-10 Championship quarters. She scored her five goals on six total shots and added three ground balls in a dominant offensive effort. For the tournament, Donato posted 11 points (7g, 4a) en route to All-Championship Team accolades.
Through 17 regular-season games, the senior attacker led the A-10 in total points and assists as well as points per game (4.59) and assists per game (2.24) as she scored in all but one contest and totaled 12 multi-goal games, including six games with three or more goals, and 14 games with three or more points. A two-time A-10 Player of the Week, Donato went for 45 points (24g, 21a) through nine conference games, which included nine-point efforts against Duquesne (4g, 5a) and Davidson (6g, 3a), a seven-point effort (2g, 5a) against VCU, and a six-point effort (4g, 2a) against George Washington. Notably, outside of A-10 competition, Donato combined for 13 points in back-to-back wins over Temple (4g, 3a) and Villanova (3g, 3a) and added a hat trick at then-#17 Johns Hopkins and four helpers at then-#13 Navy.
She graduated from Saint Joseph's this past weekend ranked third all-time in program history in career assists (69), sixth in career points (168), and ninth in career goals (99).
Alongside fellow seniors Ally Beck, Rebecca Lane, and Hayley Sabol, Brierley and Donato leave Hawk Hill with 43 wins to own the title of the winningest class in program history.
All-ECAC First Team
Kenzie Kent – Boston College, Graduate, Attack
Sam Apuzzo - Boston College, Sr., Attack (Offensive Player of the Year)
Kelly Larkin - United States Naval Academy, Jr., Attack
Gabby Rosenzweig – University of Pennsylvania, Jr., Attack
Hailey Wagner – Marist College, Sr., Midfield
Ally Kennedy – Stony Brook University, Jr., Midfield
Alyssa Parrella – Hofstra University, Jr., Midfield
Erin Kerstetter – Wagner College, So., Midfield
Chantae Simms – University of Delaware, Sr., Defense
Mackenzie Burns - Stony Brook University, Sr., Defense
Caroline Sdanowich – James Madison University, Sr., Defense (Defensive Player of the Year)
Elizabeth Miller – Boston College, Sr., Defense
Sinead Brierley – Saint Joseph’s University, Sr., Defense
Sami Cenoweth – Towson University, Jr., Defense
Jillian Petito – Mount St. Mary’s University, Sr., Goalkeeper
All-ECAC Second Team
Jordan Butler - Mount St. Mary’s University, So., Attack
Jackie Brattan – United States Military Academy, So., Attack
Taryn Ohlmiller – Stony Brook University, Jr., Attack
Mia DeRuggiero – University of Delaware, Jr., Attack
Francesca Donato - Saint Joseph’s University, Sr., Attack
Natalie Sulmonte - Towson University, Sr., Attack
Nicole Ceraso - Monmouth University, Jr., Attack
Erin Barry - University of Pennsylvania, Jr., Midfield
Lindsey Ewertsen - Columbia University, Sr., Midfield
Dempsey Arsenault – Boston College, Sr., Midfield
Megan Beach - Fairfield University, Sr., Defense
Kaitlyn Ridenour - Mount St. Mary’s University, Jr., Defense
Sarah Cooper - Syracuse University, Fr., Defense
Mackenzie Rendich - Monmouth University, Sr., Defense
Anna Tesoriero – Stony Brook University, Sr., Goalkeeper
Molly Dougherty – James Madison University, R-So., Goalkeeper