HANOVER, N.H. - For the second year in a row, a member of the Dartmouth women's lacrosse team has been named the Ivy League Player of the Year. Senior Sarah Plumb (Wellesley, Mass.) was tabbed as the recipient of the 2012 honor as the league's top player.
Plumb was also one of five Dartmouth players to earn All-Ivy League recognition as announced by the conference office Wednesday afternoon. Her selection to the All-Ivy First Team was unanimous, as voted by the league's head coaches.
The senior co-captain finished the season with 44 points on 33 goals and 11 assists, all good for at least a share of the team lead in each. But, it was more than just offensive numbers that earned Plumb the annual award, as she ranked first on her team in caused turnovers (15), draw controls (71), game-winning goals (3) and second in ground balls (27).
All of these facets of her game have also helped her land a nomination for the Tewaaraton Award, given to the top collegiate player. Plumb is just one of 25 players from across the country to earn a nomination in 2012.
Plumb's 71 draw controls this year not only set the Dartmouth standard, but a new Ivy League mark as well, eclipsing the previous Big Green record of 53 and conference mark of 67 set in 1995. Plumb will go down as the most dominant player in Ivy League history in terms of draw controls as she now owns both the career mark (145) and single-season figure (71) headed into the league's postseason this weekend.
In 2011, Kat Collins ‘11 was named the Ivy League Player of the Year. Plumb's honor this spring marks the first time since the 2000 and 2001 seasons that two Dartmouth players were recognized as the Player of the Year in consecutive seasons.
Plumb joins the ranks of Allison Barlow (1986), Lauren Holleran (1995), Jacque Weitzel (2000), Suzy Gibbons (2001), Katieanne Christian (Co-Player of the Year, 2005) and Collins (2011) as the seventh Dartmouth student-athlete in program history to be recognized as the Ivy League's best player.
Joining Plumb as an All-Ivy selection was senior Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.) on attack, seniors Georgia Bird (Summit, N.J.) and Hilary Smith (Bronxville, N.Y.) on defense and sophomore goalkeeper Kristen Giovanniello (Old Brookville, N.Y.). All four were named to the All-Ivy Second Team for their play in 2012.
Goldberg was a close second in scoring to Plumb, finishing the regular season with 43 points. Her 33 goals matched Plumb for the team lead, while her 10 assists ranked second. She moved over the 100-career point mark earlier this season and was also one of the top players in the league in clutch situations, tying for first with three game-winning goals. A great career, this may have been the best season for Goldberg as she set new highs in goals, points and assists, while nearing her best output in ground balls, draws and caused turnovers.
In each of the last two seasons, Goldberg had been named an All-Ivy Honorable Mention player.
A fellow senior and one of the team's co-captains, Bird was an anchor of the Big Green defensive unit that ranked in the top three of every major defensive statistical category this spring. Given the unenviable task of defending the opposition's top player in nearly every game, Bird was a major factor in Dartmouth's ability to hold teams to 10 or fewer goals 10 times (all wins) and seven or fewer on five occasions. In the Big Green's upset victory over No. 3 Duke on March 17 in Hanover, the senior defender held Kerrin Maurer, one of the top players in the nation, to just two assists, while forcing two Blue Devil turnovers for a new career high. This is the first Ivy League honor of her career.
Smith established herself this year to be one of the most underrated players in the league. Her ability to play both the midfield and on defense proved to be invaluable to Dartmouth in 2012 as she contributed greatly to the success of the team. Smith closed out the regular season tied for the team lead with 15 caused turnovers, one off of her career high set as a junior. She was second on the team in draw controls with a career-best 33, which helped move her into the program's all-time top-10. Like Bird, Smith has drawn the responsibilities of covering several opponents' top offensive players this season, a job she excelled at throughout en route to her first league accolade.
Giovanniello rounds out the four members of the Big Green on the conference's second team. A season removed from being named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and a spot on the first team, she continued her stellar play as a sophomore, ranking in the top two in the league in every major goalkeeping category. A two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week in 2012, Giovanniello posted a 9.12 goals-against average, a save percentage of .464 and led the team in ground balls (33) against a schedule that featured six teams ranked nationally in the top 20.
Dartmouth will open play in the 2012 Ivy League Tournament Friday afternoon in Philadelphia as the No. 2 seed, taking on third-seeded Cornell at 5 p.m. at Dunning-Cohen Champions Field in Penn Park in the first semifinal. Penn and Harvard will play the other match-up Friday night for the right to advance to the league's championship game set for Sunday at noon.