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IWLCA Players of the Week - March 19, 2024

By IWLCA Admin, 03/19/24, 2:30PM EDT


IWLCA Players of the Week – March 19, 2024


The IWLCA has chosen nine student-athletes for the IWLCA Player of the Week awards for the week ending March 17, 2024. This weekly award recognizes the best offensive and defensive performances by players in Division I, II, III, and the NAIA each week during the regular season.

Division I

Offensive Player of the Week

MK Doherty – University of Notre Dame

Doherty posted an impressive 10-point weekend for the Irish, leading the team with seven goals and three assists. She played a pivotal role in Notre Dame's road victories against a pair of ranked opponents, contributing to both game-winning goals this past week. In the win over No. 22 Brown University, Doherty recorded a season-high six points, tallying three goals and three assists. Against No. 4 Boston College, Doherty achieved a career-high four goals. She finished the weekend with 14 draw controls, including a team-best six against BC, and recorded two ground balls. The Irish have ascended to the Top 5 rankings, climbing three spots to No. 5 in the latest ILWomen/IWLCA national rankings.

Defensive Player of the Week

Hallie Simkins – Syracuse University

Simkins caused a career-high six turnovers and tied her career high with four ground balls in No. 7 Syracuse's win against No. 9 University of North Carolina. Her six ground balls tied for second on Syracuse’s single-game record list. Simkins and the Orange defense held the Tar Heels without a goal until the final minute of the first quarter as the Orange built a 5-0 lead. Simkins anchored the unit that allowed just four shots in the second half and held North Carolina more than 10 goals below its season average.

Division II

Offensive Player of the Week

Lauryn Esposito – Southern Wesleyan University

In Southern Wesleyan’s 26-14 victory over Lees-McRae College, Esposito set multiple records, including a school record for goals in a game with 15 and points in a game with 17. Esposito's outstanding achievement also saw her tie a Division II record for goals scored in a single game.

Defensive Player of the Week

Gianna Guzek – Maryville University

Guzek showcased her defensive prowess by making 11 saves, her second-highest tally of the season, in a matchup against No. 5 Regis University (CO). She stopped three free-position shots to contribute to Maryville's defensive efforts and played a key role in holding the fifth-ranking scoring offense to 12 points below their season average. Notably, the victory over Regis marked the highest-ranked team Maryville has ever defeated.

Division III

Co-Offensive Player of the Week

Britney Maldonado – Illinois Wesleyan University

Leading the Titans to a perfect 2-0 week, Maldonado amassed an impressive 28 points, averaging 14 points per game. She dished out 22 assists, averaging 11 assists per game, while also contributing six goals, averaging three goals per game. Maldonado was also responsible for three caused turnovers and two ground balls for the week. She played a role in 72 percent of the Titans' scoring. In the victory over Linfield University, Maldonado made history by setting a conference record with 17 points, tying for third all-time in NCAA Division III history. Her 14 assists in the same game set a new program record and ranked first across all divisions, while also tying for second all-time in Division III history. Maldonado continued her dominant performance with an 11-point showing in the Titans’ 17-6 win over the University of Puget Sound.

Co-Offensive Player of the Week

Mary Hanzsche – Salisbury University

Hanzsche logged 10 points across two games in the week. She was stellar against No. 4 Gettysburg College on Wednesday, notching career-highs in goals (4) and points (7). She added three points on a goal and two assists in the team's 16-4 victory over No. 16 Roanoke College on Saturday.

Defensive Player of the Week

Natalie Held – Salisbury University

Held led the No. 7 Salisbury defense that surrendered just 11 goals across a pair of games against No. 4 Gettysburg and No. 16 Roanoke. Held secured six draw controls and added one ground ball against Gettysburg before dominating against Roanoke, tallying four draw controls, three ground balls, and three caused turnovers in the win. With this past week’s success, the Sea Gulls climbed to the No. 4 spot in the latest ILWomen/IWLCA Division III poll.


Offensive Player of the Week

Hannah Shaffrey – Ave Maria University

In Ave Maria’s 22-5 win over Franciscan, Shaffrey was responsible for six points in the matchup, registering four goals and two assists. She then set a school record with eleven points in Ave Maria's 19-5 victory over Georgetown College, accounting for six goals and one assist.

Defensive Player of the Week

Mia Griswold – Reinhardt University

Griswold claimed 11 draw controls and picked up 10 ground balls this past week for the No. 2 Reinhardt Eagles. She caused two turnovers and added six goals and two assists to her stat line as RU went 2-0 on the week. The Eagles currently boast a 7-1 record and will take on Georgetown this Wednesday in Kentucky.