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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s lacrosse team had two Cavaliers earn All-America honors, as announced by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA). Senior Liz Downs was named to the second team, while junior Julie Gardner was honored as a third team selection.

This marks the second-straight year Downs has been selected to an All-America team, while it is her first appearance on the second team. The three-time All-South Region honoree, Downs is one of the nation’s top defenders. The Alexandria, Va., native was one of just three defenders to make the 18-person All-ACC team this year and was one of four defenders in the nation to be honored among the 24 finalists for the Tewaaraton Trophy.

The co-captain started every game throughout her four years and wrapped up her career as the top true defender in program history. She was tabbed a 2010 third-team All-American, was named to back-to-back All-ACC teams, to the 2008 national all-rookie team and was voted Team MVP by her teammates this season.

Gardner, an attacker from Severna Park, Md., is garnering her first-ever All-America honor. The team’s top all-around attacker earned her first All-South Region honor after finishing the year with 27 assists and 60 points to rank fourth and ninth in the ACC, respectively. The 2011 All-ACC team selection scored multiple goals on 11 occasions and dished out multiple assists eight times. She had at least one point in every game this year, including 15 games with multiple points, and five hat tricks.

Virginia concluded the 2011 season with a loss to third-seeded North Carolina, 15-7, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers posted an overall record of 9-9 this year.

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