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Five lax players nab All-ALC honors

Five Northwestern lacrosse players have been named to All-ALC teams.

Seniors Alyssa Leonard and Kerri Harrington earned first-team all-conference and senior Kate MacDonald, junior Bridget Bianco and sophomore Kaleigh Craig made second-team. This is the third straight year that five NU players received all-conference honors.

Attacker Leonard is the only one to have been named to an All-ALC team previously. She earned second-team last season, and during her freshman season she was named the ALC Rookie of the Year. She holds the NCAA record for career draw controls with 424, including 118 this season. She's just seven away from tying her own school record for most draw controls in a season, which she set last year.

Harrington has led NU's defense this year, often tasked with faceguarding the opposing team's best scorer. She held Florida's leading scorer, Shannon Gilroy, who's also the leading scorer in the nation and was named ALC Midfielder of the Year, to only two goals in a 13-12 loss. Against North Carolina, the No. 1 team in the country at the time, she held leading-scorer Aly Messinger to no points or shots.

Goalkeeper Bridget Bianco allowed just 7.86 goals per game this season, 9th-best in the country. Against Penn, she allowed just two goals on ten shots, or an .800 save percentage.

NU's midfield was led by MacDonald this season. She did a little bit of everything, scoring 10 goals, dishing out five assists, picking up 12 ground balls and causing nine turnovers.

Craig followed up a standout freshman year with another solid campaign, despite an injury that kept her out of the last two regular season games. She led the Wildcats in scoring for most of the year before her injury and finished with with 27 goals in her first year as a regular starter.

With the ALC disbanding after this season, these are the last All-ALC honors that will be given out. NU has been part of the conference since its inaugural season in 2002. In that time, NU players have earned 69 All-ALC honors and seven ALC Player of the Year awards. Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has garnered conference Coach of the Year accolades seven times.

But the fun isn't over just yet for the conference. The ALC Tournament starts Thursday afternoon at Lakeside Field in Evanston. No.4-seen Penn State is taking on No.5 Johns Hopkins, No. 3 NU will face No. 6 Vanderbilt, and No. 2 Ohio State will play No. 7 Michigan. No. 1 Florida gets a first-round bye.