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May 27, 2004

The Virginia women’s lacrosse team, fresh off the 2004 NCAA National Championship, was honored further on Thursday as five athletes were named to the IWLCA South Region team. Amy Appelt, the nation’s leading scorer, was selected to the first team along with All-ACC selection Nikki Lieb. NCAA Tournament MVP Andrea Pfeiffer was named to the second team along with NCAA and ACC All-Tournament selections Caitlin Banks and Elizabeth Pinney.

Amy Appelt had one of the finest offensive seasons in the history of Division I women’s lacrosse, notching 90 goals and 121 points. She became only the third person in history to notch 90 or more goals in a season, and only the fourth person to reach 120 points or more in a single season. Appelt scored at least two goals in every game, notching a hat trick (three or more goals in a game) in 20 of Virginia’s 22 games, smashing both the ACC and NCAA records in the process. Her 90 goals is an ACC record and she finished the 2004 season with 201 career goals and 278 career points, and ranks in the top-20 all-time in Division I history with a full season to play. Appelt, the ACC Player of the Year, is also one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Trophy, presented to the Outstanding Player of the Year in college lacrosse. This marks the third consecutive season Appelt has been named to the South Regional team.

Nikki Lieb, who earned All-ACC honors as a second year and in only her first year of starting, was named the National Player of the Week on April 26 by Lieb led a defense that was ranked in the top-15 of the nation and held Virginia hold some of the top offenses in the nation well below their averages. Lieb led Virginia with 63 ground balls and ranked third on the team in draw controls with 45. An integral part of the Virginia transition, Lieb was also featured in the NCAA program for the finals weekend as part of a story focusing on second-generation players as Lieb’s mother Becca was also a lacrosse player (for Penn State).

Andrea Pfeiffer backstopped the Cavaliers to the 2004 national title with an NCAA record .846 save percentage in the final game, stopping 22 Princeton shots while allowing only 4 goals. Pfeiffer not only set the NCAA finals record with her performance, but also her 22 saves ranks second all-time in an NCAA championship round game, sixth in all tournament games, and her save percentage ranks third among all tournament games. Pfieffer had 50 saves in the tournament, tying her for third all-time in tournament history. Combined with her performance in the ACC title game, Pfeiffer had an incredible 75% save percentage in Virginia’s two championship games in 2004. She finished the season with 209 saves and became just the second person in Virginia history to notch more than 200 saves in a season. She finishes her career with 556 saves and ranks second all-time at Virginia in career saves and has three of the top-10 single-season performances. Pfeiffer also tied the single-season record for assists as a keeper with her two assists this season. Current Virginia coach Heather Dow also had two for the Cavaliers. Pfeiffer was named the National Player of the Week by maax on April 26.

Caitlin Banks was named to the All-ACC Conference team in 2004 and was also named to both the ACC and NCAA All-Tournament teams. Banks ranked third on the team in scoring with 31 goals and 24 assists. Her 55 points ranks eighth all-time in scoring as a fourth-year, and Banks finishes her career with 193 career points, which places her fifth in Virginia history. Banks has 76 career assists, which ranks fourth all-time in school history and she became just the third person in Cavalier history to have three seasons of 20+ goals and 20+ assists in a season. Banks was named the National Player of the Week on April 19 as she helped the Cavaliers rally to defeat Loyola College 12-11.

Elizabeth Pinney was the cornerstone of the vaunted Cavalier defense as she led the team in caused turnovers with 31 and ranked second on the team with 51 ground balls. One of the most tenacious players on the field, Pinney had a better than 5-to-1 caused turnover to turnover ratio, one of the tops in the nation. A member of the National All-Rookie Squad in 2002, Pinney was sidelined due to injury in 2003 but came back strong in 2004, leading Virginia to one of the top scoring defenses in the nation.

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