WLAX's Murtha Named NECC Player of the Year

WLAX's Murtha Named NECC Player of the Year

ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Mitchell College senior Ashley Murtha was named New England Collegiate Conference Player of the Year for the sport of women's lacrosse, as announced by the conference on Monday.

Murtha becomes the first Mitchell women's lacrosse player to earn the conference's top honor. She was also named to the all-conference first team for the second year in a row. Classmate Willeen Pun was selected to the NECC All-Sportsmanship Team. Awards were determined by a vote of the league's head coaches.

Murtha led the NECC with 69 goals and two assists in eight conference matches. Her goal total was more than double her nearest competitor, and she also led the conference in draw controls (83) while ranking third in ground balls (30). 

Murtha finished a record-breaking season with 87 goals and five assists over 11 games. Her goals per game average of 7.91 led the country and set a new NCAA Division III single season record. She was a three-time NECC Player of the Week selection during the season and recently garnered attention in the May 8 issue of Sports Illustrated (Faces in the Crowd). 

Murtha capped her four-year career with totals of 236 goals and 14 assists for 250 points in 39 games. In addition to being the school's all-time leading scorer, she broke a 22-year-old NCAA Division III record for career goals per game (6.05) and will finish a three-time NCAA statistical champion in the category.

Pun, a four-year letterwinner who played in 41 career games with 34 starts, is coming off her best statistical season. She scored 10 goals and added a pair of assists while starting all 11 games in 2017. 

Mitchell finished the season with an overall record of 3-8 (2-6 NECC) under first-year head coach Erika Blozie.