PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers head women’s lacrosse coach Laura Brand was named the BIG EAST Conference Women’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year, it was announced by the league office. Also earning BIG EAST honors were first-team selections Lyndsey Feldman (Ft. Myers, FL) and Melissa Mosey (Skaneateles, NY) and second-team picks Cristina Curiale (Summit, NJ) and Kristin Checksfield (Collingswood, NJ).
Brand led the Scarlet Knights to a 12-4 record in her first season with her alma mater, an impressive turnaround from the seven-win seasons of 2000, 2001 and 2002. Picked to finish sixth in the conference in the preseason coaches poll, Rutgers finished fourth in the league with a 3-3 conference record. Rutgers returned to the national spotlight, upsetting No. 14 Yale, 15-12 on April 9, to earn a spot in the Brine/ IWLCA Coaches Poll. Ranking 20th for three consecutive weeks, it marked the first time since the 2000 season that the Knights were ranked during the regular season. Brand owns a career coaching record of 22-11 in two seasons, having posted a 10-7 record at Fairfield in 2002.
Feldman, the sophomore starting goalie for the Knights, was a first-team all-conference pick after leading the BIG EAST in overall save percentage. Ranking as high as third in the national statistics, she finished the 2003 campaign with a .584 save percentage, fifth among Division I goalies. Feldman, Rutgers’ Most Valuable Player, was the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week twice in 2003 and was RU’s first womenslacrosse.com Player of the Week.
Mosey, a senior midfielder, tied for the team lead in goals with 24 this season. After a string of consecutive three-goal games, Mosey became RU’s first BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on April 14 and was one of InsideLacrosse.com’s honorable mention Players of the Week. Mosey also tied for the team lead in draw controls with 20, finishing her senior year with 35 points, 21 caused turnovers and 22 ground balls. She also was a two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star (2001, 2002).
Checksfield earned her third all-BIG EAST honor as a second-team pick this season. She is the only Scarlet Knight to have been named to the all-conference team in each season, taking first-team honors in 2001 and 2002. The senior defender was the conference’s 2002 Defensive Player of the Year and was a preseason all-conference pick in 2002 and 2003. Checksfield earned the defensive player-of-the-week award in consecutive weeks this season (April 21 and 28). She tied the school’s record for caused turnovers in a game with seven against Hofstra (March 15) before she broke the school’s career record, concluding her four years with 109. She holds the second and fourth-best single season totals for caused turnovers with 41 in 2002 and 34 in 2003.
Curiale, a junior attacker, also received national recognition, ranking in the top 20 nationally for assists. Ranked as high as 12th in the national stats, she tied for second on RU’s single-season list with 26 assists in 2003, four shy of making it onto the career list. Curiale also led the team with 37 points, finishing eighth in the conference for scoring. She received honorable mention status as one of InsideLacrosse.com’s Players of the Week.
The Scarlet Knights finished the 2003 season with a 12-4 overall record and
a 3-3 record in BIG EAST play.