DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire women's lacrosse program celebrated its 2006 season - a year in which the Wildcats won nine consecutive games en route to its conference-record ninth consecutive appearance in the America East Championship and a fifth straight trip to the conference's title game - Friday night at the Squamscott Room of Holloway Commons.
The Coaches' Award, in recognition of a player who embodies the spirit of UNH women's lacrosse with tireless effort and selfless giving to the team without hesitation, was presented to junior tri-captain Christine Carbone (Nashua, N.H.), who was also awarded the Defensive MVP. Carbone, cited as an inspiration through her unwavering dedication and determination, led the team in both ground balls (54) and caused turnovers (25) to rank second in the America East conference in caused turnovers and third in ground balls. Her season highlights included the opener vs. the College of the Holy Cross in which she was credited with seven ground balls and seven caused turnovers. Carbone was selected to the America East All-Conference First Team for the second consecutive year in 2006.
Senior tri-captain and attack Katie Leland (Timonium, Md.) was honored as the Offensive MVP for the second consecutive year. Leland led the 2006 Wildcats in goals (53), game-winning goals (four), assists (29) and points (82) as she became UNH's all-time leader in both goals (179) and points (270). Leland recorded a point in all 18 games with 16 multiple-point efforts that included 14 multiple-goal and 10 multiple-assist games. She was named to the America East All-Conference First Team for the third time in as many years and was also named to the 2006 America East All-Championship Team.
In a class of 11 freshmen, Sarah Von Bargen (East Setauket, N.Y.) earned the Rookie of the Year award. Von Bargen broke the UNH rookie single-season records for both goals (42) and points (46) and recorded the longest goal-scoring streak at the outset of a career with a tally in each of her first nine games. She was also one of five UNH Wildcats to record double digits in ground balls (23), draw controls (35) and caused turnovers (17) to tie for the team lead in draw controls, rank second in goals, third in caused turnovers and fourth in points. Von Bargen, an America East All-Conference Second Team and All-Rookie Team selection, recorded a point in 16 of 17 games with 14 multiple-point efforts.
Head coach Sandy Bridgeman also recognized the three-member Class of 2006 - Kristin Blanchette (Sudbury, Mass.), Maghan Grahn (Roseau, Minn.) and Leland - for leading the Wildcats to a 42-32 record and one NCAA tournament appearance, in addition to the four consecutive conference tourney appearances, in the past four years. Blanchette, who joined Leland on both the First Team and All-Championship Team in 2006, leaves the program tied for eighth on the all-time goals list (112) and ninth in points (151). Grahn was a first-year lax player who went a perfect 1-0 in five games of action in goal.