DURHAM, N.C. - Six Duke women's lacrosse student-athletes have earned All-South Region distinction as announced Thursday by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA). Headlining the list are first team honorees Emma Hamm, Christie Kaestner, Kat Thomas and Kim Wenger, while Mollie Mackler and Lauren Martin received second team accolades.
Duke's six selections to the All-Region team set a program high for the Blue Devils. All six Blue Devils are now eligible for inclusion on the IWLCA All-America teams, which will be announced Monday, May 30.
Redshirt junior Hamm earned her second All-South honors, and first first-team selection, after leading the Blue Devils with 48 goals and 65 draw controls in 2011. Injury sidelined Hamm for the 2010 season, but she returned in 2011 to set career highs in goals (48), assists (25), points (73) and draw controls (65). A Tewaaraton finalist and All-ACC pick this season, Hamm has started 61 games in her career and holds the Duke career record for draw controls (171) while ranking second in the school records with 65 career assists.
Kaestner, a senior from Trappe, Md., is making her second consecutive appearance on the IWLCA All-Region squad after garnering a second team nod in 2010. This season, Kaestner leads the ACC with an average of 2.37 assists per game and has totaled eight games with three or more assists. Her 45 assists in 2011 is a new Duke single season record, while her 96 career helpers ranks second in the Duke record books. In four seasons, she has totaled 190 points on 92 goals and 96 assists to sit in seventh place at Duke in career points.
Latham, N.Y., native Thomas' career-high 45 goals this season is second on the team only to Hamm as the junior led the Blue Devils with eight points (7g, 1 a) in the first two games of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Heading into Friday's semifinal, Thomas has registered nine games this season with three or more goals to garner her second All-South nod. A two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Week selection in 2011, she has totaled 104 goals and 146 draw controls in her three years at Duke.
First-time All-Region pick Wenger is in the midst of a career year in her junior campaign with 16 goals, 19 assists, 28 ground balls, 29 draw controls and 20 caused turnovers. An All-ACC honoree, Wenger recorded at least one point in 15 contests and was one of just two conference players to earn both Offensive and Defensive ACC Player of the Week accolades this season.
Sophomore Martin stepped into the starting line-up in 2011 and was one of Duke's most consistent performers on defense. Her 20 caused turnovers ranks third on the team and tied for seventh in the ACC as the Weston, Mass., native earns her first All-South selection.
Joining Martin on the All-South Region second team is starting goaltender Mackler, who has totaled a career-best 147 saves and leads with conference with an average of eight saves per game. Mackler, a native of Longmeadow, Mass., missed the last 13 games of the 2010 season due to injury, but has started every contest this year, registering a .444 save percentage and 10.21 goals against average.
Duke is set to take on Maryland Friday, May 27 in the NCAA semifinals. Opening draw is set for 5 p.m. from Stony Brook University's Frank P. LaValle Stadium.