Lerro, Steele earn All-State field hockey superlatives

Red and white all-state graphic with black and white photos of Jackie Lerro and Coach Steele in frames at right

Ferrum, Va. -- Six members of the University of Lynchburg field hockey program earned All-State honors in the college division from the Virginia Sports Information Directors, VaSID announced at midday Friday.

Jackie Lerro added the All-State player of the year honor to her long list of awards, and Hornets mentor Enza Steele won the coach of the year award, as voted by the Commonwealth's athletics communications professionals.

Alexis Brown joined Lerro on the All-State first team, while Emily Dudley, Laurel Nicks, and Kessa Romero landed on the second team.

Lerro becomes the seventh All-State player of the year for the Lynchburg program. The junior from Royersford, Pa., was recognized as one of the top forwards in Division III with a second-team All-America honor, adding to her first-team All-South Region and All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference nods. The ODAC's offensive player of the year, she led the conference in goals (21) and ranked second in the league in assists (13), putting her 18th in Division III with 2.38 points-per-game. She was the NFHCA's Division III offensive player of the week Oct. 2 and earned a spot on the ODAC All-Tournament Team.

Brown, a junior defender from Culpeper, was a third-team All-America selection and a first-teamer on the all-region and All-ODAC teams. She scored seven goals and made five assists for the Hornets and was the centerpin of a defense that ranked 14th in Division III in goals allowed.

Dudley ranked fourth in the ODAC and second on the team with 16 goals, adding four assists. A junior from Westminster, Md., she was ODAC player of the week twice in September and earned third-team all-conference honors.

Nicks, a junior goalkeeper from Yorktown, was a third-team All-ODAC honoree and the NFHCA's defensive player of the week Oct. 9. She led the league in goals-against average (0.98) and was third in the ODAC in save percentage (.791).

Romero was also a third-team All-ODAC and ODAC All-Tournament Team pick. The midfielder and Gloucester native tallied seven goals and three assists in her freshman season.

Steele earned coaching honor from VaSID for the fifth time in her hall-of-fame career. Her Hornets posted a 20-4 record and won the program's 20th ODAC championship, more than the conference's other programs combined.

Lynchburg won Steele her 600th-career game November 3 in the team's regular-season finale at Wooster. She will be inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches Association's hall of fame in January.

The 2019 season marks the 16th-consecutive year Lynchburg has seen multiple players named All-State, and the team's five honorees is the most for the program since 2011.

The Hornets reached the 20-win plateau for just the third time in program history and advanced to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals for the fifth time.

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2019 VaSID All-State College Division Field Hockey Awards

Player of the Year: Jackie Lerro, Lynchburg
Rookie of the Year: Abby Asuncion, Christopher Newport
Coach of the Year: Enza Steele, Lynchburg 

First Team
Defender: Alexis Brown, Lynchburg
Defender: Claire Magill, Randolph-Macon
Defender: Bailey Miller, Christopher Newport
Forward: Teresita Ambrogi-Torres, Randolph-Macon
Forward: Abby Asuncion, Christopher Newport
Forward: Lauren Hopkins, Mary Washington
Forward: Jackie Lerro, Lynchburg
Midfielder: Rachel Cooke, Christopher Newport
Midfielder: Taylor Hayes, Shenandoah
Midfielder: Kelsey Jones, Shenandoah
Goalie: Isabella Morande, Shenandoah

Second Team
Defender: Jackie Smith, Mary Washington
Defender: Megan Stevens, Shenandoah
Defender: Brandy Troutman, Eastern Mennonite
Forward: Emily Dudley, Lynchburg
Forward: Courtney Fiest, Christopher Newport
Forward: Emilee Wooten, Roanoke
Midfielder: Lexie Dixson, Mary Washington
Midfielder: Lauren Heffron, Roanoke
Midfielder: Kessa Romero, Lynchburg
Midfielder: Marcella Sabbagh, Christopher Newport
Goalie: Olivia Davis, Christopher Newport
Goalie: Laurel Nicks, Lynchburg