Nine UNH women's lax players honored by America East
Jess Burnap

BOSTON -- Nine players from the University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse team, led by All-Conference First Team selections Jess Burnap (New Canaan, Conn.), Christine Carbone (Nashua, N.H.), Cristina Covucci (Concord, Mass.) and Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.), were honored Wednesday night by America East at the conference's annual banquet.

In addition to that quartet, Wildcats Jill Albee (Pembroke, N.H.), Stacey Plati (Nashua, N.H.) and Lauren Zerbinopoulos (Kennebunk, Maine) were named to the All-Conference Second Team, and the duo of Ashley Milley (Sudbury, Mass.) and Moira Talbot (Marblehead, Mass.) was named to the All-Rookie Team.

Burnap, a senior attack who received First Team and Player of the Year honors in 2004, recorded a personal-best 17 assists this season and also scored 35 goals for a total of 52 points. She ended the regular season ranked second on the team in both assists and draw controls, as well as third in goals and points. Burnap's season highlights included her 150th career goal and 200th career point, as well as a career-high four assists at Binghamton University. She recorded a point in 15 of 17 games this season, including a goal in 14 games, and had 13 multiple-point games, which included nine multiple-goal games.

Carbone played in all 17 games with 16 starts as a sophomore defender. She led the team in ground balls through most of the season and enters the conference tournament second with 41. Carbone is also third - first among UNH defenders - in caused turnovers with 13. She has been credited with multiple ground balls 12 times and multiple caused turnovers four times, including a five-ground ball, two-caused turnover effort vs. Vanderbilt. Carbone recorded her first career point this season and finished with two points, both on assists.

Covucci, a sophomore midfielder who earned conference First Team and Rookie of the Year honors a year ago, is ranked seventh in the nation in caused turnovers at 2.35 per game, and she leads the team in that statistic with 40. Covucci also leads the 'Cats in ground balls (44) and is third in draw controls (39). She has recorded multiple caused turnovers in 14 of 17 games and contributed a total of 16 points to the offense with eight goals and eight assists. Covucci's season highlights include eight ground balls at Binghamton University and matching her career highs in both assists (two) and points (three) against the University of Vermont.

Leland, who also garnered First Team honors in 2004, was a two-time recipient of the America East Player of the Week award as she led UNH in goals (45), assists (19) and points (64) this season. Her season highlights included a school-record nine goals vs. UMBC, and that mark is best in Division I in 2005. She also became just the third Wildcat to record double digits in a game with 11 - one less than the school record. Also in that game, Leland recorded both her 50th career assist and 100th career goal. She recorded a point in 16 of 17 games with 12 multiple-point games, including 11 multiple-goal efforts.

Albee, a senior attack, is ranked 16th in the nation in draw controls at 3.06 per game as she has a team-best 52. She has recorded personal single-season highs in goals (44), assists (10) and points (54) to rank second on the team in goals and points, as well as fifth in assists. Her season highlights include career highs in both goals (seven) and points (eight) against Vermont, which followed a six-goal performance at Albany. The only Wildcat who has recorded a point in every game this season, Albee has led the team in goals in nine of 17 games with 13 multiple-point efforts, including 11 multiple-goal games.

Plati, a sophomore goalkeeper who earned First Team status last season, ended the regular season ranked 18th in the country in save percentage at .521. That number, as well as her 8.83 GAA, is second-best in America East. In five conference games, she went 4-1 with a 7.83 GAA and .565 save percentage. Plati has recorded double digits in saves six times, including a career-high 17 in the regular-season finale vs. Boston University. Plati was named America East Defender of the Week three times this season, including the last two weeks of the season.

Zerbinopoulos, a senior defender, has been one of New Hampshire's most consistent players throughout the 2005 season. In starting all 17 games, she is tied for fourth on the team - second among defenders - in ground balls with 29, and she is also tied for fifth in draw controls with 18. Zerbinopoulos has been credited with multiple ground balls in nine games, and that includes a season-high five at Albany.

Milley, a freshman goalkeeper, has played in nine games with three starts this season. She has compiled a 2-2 record with an 8.66 GAA and .442 save percentage in a total of 332 minutes, 37 seconds. Milley made consecutive starts vs. Stony Brook University and the University of Connecticut in mid-April and recorded a personal-best nine saves in both games. She made her first start at UNH and recorded her first collegiate victory with a four-save effort vs. Fairfield.

Talbot, an attack, leads all UNH rookies in goals (15), assists (two) and points (17) as she has played in 16 of 17 games with 14 starts. Among UNH's six double-digit goal scorers, Talbot has the second-best shooting percentage of .455 with 15 goals on 33 shots. Her season highlights include her first collegiate point vs. Sacred Heart University and she finished that game with season highs in both goals (three) and points (three). Talbot recorded a seven-game goal-scoring streak from April 11-27 and has recorded a point in 12 of 16 games.

UNH (10-7 overall, 5-1 America East) begins defense of its America East championship Thursday against the University at Albany in a semifinal matchup at Boston University's Nickerson Field. Game time is 3:30 p.m.

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