Czarnecki Named Elite 89 Award Winner for Division II Lacrosse

OWINGS MILLS, Md. Already highly decorated for her work on the field this season, Limestone junior midfielder Maia Czarnecki (Oswego, N.Y.) has been named as the winner of the prestigious Elite 89 Award for the 2013 NCAA Division II Women's Lacrosse Championships. The NCAA announced the major recognition on Thursday, May 16 at the Championship Award Banquet in advance of the Final Four hosted by Stevenson University.

With the award, she becomes the second consecutive Limestone lacrosse player to win the award, joining Limestone men's lacrosse junior attack Todd Nakasuji. The latter won the first ever such award in program history last season.

Czarnecki currently carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average through two full years of coursework as a Biology and Chemistry major. She also becomes the first women's lacrosse player to win the award in its four-year history.

On the season she has been one of the top defensive players on a Limestone team that is a program record 19-1 and currently sits at No. 2 in the country. While starting all 20 games she has produced a team-high 31 caused turnovers along with 43 groundballs. Those numbers have helped her earn IWLCA Second-Team All-American and IWLCA First-Team All-Region honors.

She joins LIU Post's Kaurey Foley (2010), Adelphi's Kristin Jones (2011) and West Chester's Liz Wilson (2012) as the only other Elite 89 Division II women's lacrosse winners.

The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

Czarnecki and No. 2 Limestone (19-1) look to take the next step towards a championship as they face No. 3 Rollins (16-1) in the national semifinals at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. That game will be played at Stevenson University's Mustang Stadium and will determine the South Region representative in the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship Game. The winner will face either Adelphi or LIU Post on Sunday, May 19.

2013-05-17



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