Evans hopes to repeat fantastic season: Starts season with a MAAC player of the week nod

By Marshall Haim

Sports Reporter

Erica Evans may only be a sophomore but the success she has had on the turf for the Women’s Lacrosse team is unparalleled. The sophomore from Peterborough, Ontario has an incredible list of accolades that she received in her first season with the Griffs and they’re only going to keep coming.

“Personally, I probably wouldn’t have got those awards without my teammates,” Evans said. “They create space, give me those passes, get back on defense, and make the saves. I think it’s an all-around effort and they’re the ones who get me open and I think it’s a team award.”

Evans freshman year had eye-opening statistics as she scored 38 goals and assisted on nine others in 18 of the Griffs’ 19 games last season. With her statistics, she was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s (MAAC) Midfielder and Rookie of the Year. Since the “Midfielder of the Year” was instituted by the MAAC in the 2011 season, Canisius has taken the award in every season.

“Last season she came in very confident and she’s a talented individual,” Canisius’ Women’s Lacrosse head coach Scott Teeter said. “She didn’t have the adjustment to the Division I game what most freshmen have, that came easy for her. Really relying on her to contribute but we had Tori Quinn, Ashley Bull, Taylor Giglio too. She was one of many threats, so she was tough to shut down.”

Not only was Evans named the conference’s Rookie of the Year, Canisius named her as the school’s Rookie of the Year. She was three points shy of tying Ashley Gray’s freshman point record (50) set in 2006. Also, Evans was three goals away from tying Whitney Card, a fellow Canadian, for the freshman goals record at Canisius (41).

Evans won the “Rookie of the Week” honor given each week by the MAAC seven times last season. Since the MAAC brought the weekly award into existence in the 2012 season, the player with the highest amount of “Rookie of the Week” nominations in a season was Courtney Chmil from the Fairfield Stags when she was recognized five times. In the 12 times the Players of the Week were released throughout last season, a member from the Canisius team was named to the weekly honor in nine of them, also an all-time conference high. Lauren Smolensky was the other Griff to earn the recognition from the conference.  

“Hard work on the recruiting trail and really past work of previous teams allow you to recruit a very talented kid or a player that has more up-side right away,” Coach Teeter said. “When you have those type of players come in then they’re already starting a little above the players when players came in as a freshman before, so that’s when they come in and just elevate your program to next level.”

Evans not only had receive accolades within the conference last season, she earned a Second-Team nomination for the West/Midwest Team by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA). Evans was one of two freshmen to be named to the either the First or Second West/Midwest team, joining the Northwestern Wildcats’ Selena Lacosta (First-Team).

“It’s very special. Not a lot of freshmen do make that award,” Evans said about earning the nomination. “It’s the hard work I put in during the season. It’s a goal to be noticed and last season I accomplished that very well.”

After the lacrosse season at Canisius concluded in early spring, Evans traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland, in late July and early August, to play in the Under-19 Women’s Lacrosse Tournament to represent Team Canada. Evans was not the lone representative from Canisius for Team Canada, as Coach Teeter was the head coach for the Canadian team. Evans and Teeter were also joined by current freshmen on the lacrosse team, Brenna Shanahan and Tessa Chad. The Canadiens defeated the United States, 9-8, in the Gold Medal Game.

“We had some previous chemistry coming into the fall and that’s just been built higher and higher with each practice,” Chad said about playing with her current teammates before the Griffs’ current season began. “We come together more and we have better plays together and I think it transforms into the game.”

This season, Evans has scored 12 goals in five games and has also assisted on three other Griffs goals. Evans was named the MAAC Player of the Week after she scored six points (five goals) in the Griffs’ 13-11 loss to Michigan on February 29. Chad is right behind Evans in the scoring category as she has 11 points (nine goals) in the Griffs’ five games.

“Erica is the greatest player probably to come into this program,” Chad stated about her teammate. “I love playing with her. It makes me want to be a better player and I think we really complement each other out on the field, so I’m excited for the rest of the season.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Evans was held without a point in the Griffs’ 15-7 home loss over the Louisville Cardinals. In Evans’ 23 games for the Griffs (all starts) she has notched 62 points, which ranks seventh among Canadian-born players to suit up for the Griffs since the 2002 season.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] After  the off-day, Canisius battled with Ivy League school, Columbia, on Monday afternoon. Canisius opened the scoring against the Lions as Giglio assisted on Evans’ 15th goal of the season, as Evans continues to improve each game after her stellar freshman season at Canisius, as you can read in my piece for Canisius College’s The Griffin, here. […]

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