Paige Soenksen Named MPSF Rookie Of The Year
BOULDER – The All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation lacrosse selections were announced Wednesday, and the inaugural University of Colorado Buffaloes made a strong showing. Goalie Paige Soenksen was named the MPSF Rookie of the Year and was also a first-team selection. Johnna Fusco and Marie Moore were named to the first and second teams, respectively.
Soenksen, an Encinitas, Calif. native, is not only the anchor of CU’s defense this season, but has also shined as one of the nation’s top shot blockers. Soenksen has started all 17 of CU’s games, helping the Buffs to 10 wins, including six in MPSF play. She ranks third nationally in saves (177), saves per game (10.41) and save percentage (.524). She holds a 9.97 goals-against average, spending over 968 minutes between the pipes.
Soenksen earned back-to-back MPSF Rookie of the Week titles during the regular season. Her first came after a trip to her home state, where she combined for 28 saves and an incredible .609 save percentage in games against UC Davis and then-No. 8 Stanford. Against the Cardinal, Soenksen recorded a career-high and MPSF season-high-tying 19 saves.
Continuing her strong defensive presence in the following week, Soenksen helped the Buffs to back-to-back overtime victories over USC and San Diego State. She tallied 27 saves and seven ground balls on the weekend, having a career-high four ground balls against SDSU. She had back-to-back saves in the final three seconds before the first side change of overtime against USC and had five OT saves against SDSU.
Fusco, a midfielder from Marietta, Ga., was a three-time Rookie of the Week honoree, claiming the title in both the first and last week of the regular season. Fusco leads the team with 40 goals, 54 points and 85 shots and ranks second with 11 free-position goals, 14 assists, 32 ground balls and 47 draw controls. She holds CU single-game records with 8 points, 5 goals, 7 ground balls and 3 caused turnovers. Fusco has scored in all but two of her 16 games played, picking up four hat tricks and scoring four or more in four other games.
Fusco earned her first Rookie of the Week title after the Buffs’ inaugural weekend. Against Stetson and Jacksonville, she led the Buffs with nine points off five goals and four assists. Fusco got her second title after working as a key piece to CU’s late comeback against Brown. Though Brown claimed the victory, Fusco scored four goals, all coming during CU’s 8-1 run in the final 12:30 of the game. Fusco won the current and final ROW title for recording a game-high six points off of five goals and an assist in CU’s sudden victory over Oregon. Her five goals match a career-high and a CU single-game record. In the overtime thriller, Fusco also had a team-high five draw controls and added a ground ball and a caused turnover.
, a midfielder from Brick, N.J., leads the team (and ranks 39th in the nation) with 62 draw controls, outpacing the nearest Buff by 15. The team co-captain also has a team-high 41 ground balls (ranking 40th nationally) and is one of four Buffs to have caused 12 turnovers. Moore recently broke her own program record by winning 11 draws against Old Dominion. She has scored in 12 of 17 games, recording six hat tricks.
Like her fellow All-MPSF teammates, Moore was an MPSF Rookie of the Week. For the honor, Moore helped the Buffs to wins over Temple and Fresno State, the latter of which served as CU’s first ever conference victory. Against Temple, Moore scored three goals, two off of free-position shots, and contributed two assists. She got three of her points during CU’s 4-0 run to start the second half. Moore then had a hat trick and a team-high five ground balls and three draw controls at Fresno State.
The Buffs continue their season at the MPSF Tournament. No. 3 seed Colorado will take No. 6 seed SDSU at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 1 at Denver’s Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.