Hampton girls lacrosse players, coach earn bevy of accolades

Monday, July 1, 2019 | 12:01 AM

Hampton departing senior lacrosse player Melinda Maers earned a top honor, and did not even play this season.

Maers, a midfielder, was named a U.S. Lacrosse Girls High School All-American for Western Pennsylvania.

Hampton coach Kelsey Viets said the impact of Maers, who sat out because of a knee injury, was weighed over the three previous seasons.

Maers finished her career as the Talbots’ fourth all-time leading scorer with 123 goals and 21 assists. She ranks fourth in competitive ground ball wins and second in draw control wins.

Maers, a Walsh University recruit, said she was surprised to receive the award.

“I am grateful that they took into account my entire high school career,” Maers said.

According to the U.S. Lacrosse website, All-Americans are the best players from their area. They exhibit superior skills and techniques, possess exceptional game sense and knowledge and embody good sportsmanship.

There is one All-American for every six qualified teams. U.S. Lacrosse oversees the selection of the awards.

Maers was one of four Talbots the national organization honored.

Viets repeated as Coach of the Year.

“To receive acknowledgment and praise from my coaching peers is truly humbling,” Viets said. “The recognition for the second year in a row certainly extends beyond me to my assistant coaches.

“We begin preseason every year in September. It’s an incredible amount of work and coordination, but I know this is part of our recipe for success, and I love seeing the girls improve.”

The award honors those head coaches in each area who exemplify the ideals of the game of lacrosse. The award is intended to recognize the individual’s overall coaching performance and contribution, not just coaching wins, although they may be considered.

Hampton placed second in the WPIAL Class AA championship, advancing to the PIAA tournament, where it lost in the first round.

Senior midfielder Elizabeth Dolan was the recipient of the Jackie Pitts Award, which recognizes a player from each area who goes above and beyond in service to her team, school and community.

Viets said, “I lost my cousin Jamie to leukemia in January. I’m thankful to my lacrosse girls for giving me some grace, and wearing pink ribbons for our home opener in her memory.

“One player wore a pink ribbon all season. Liz truly has a heart of gold.”

Dolan and senior defender Molly Wojcik were named All-Academic, which is given to players who exhibit exemplary lacrosse skills, good sportsmanship on the field and represent high standards of academic achievement in the classroom.

Wojcik said she was honored just to be nominated.

“Coach Kelsey (Viets) pushes us to work hard on the field and encourages us to do the same in the classroom,” Wojcik said.

Dolan and Wojcik will continue their careers at Allegheny College.

“With both of them having so much room to grow, we are so excited to see what their four-year careers at Allegheny will bring,” Gator coach Ashley Hughes said.