Sophomore Hailey Betch and junior Rachael Freeman, representing the St. Mary’s College of Maryland women’s lacrosse team, have been honored by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) as members of the 2023 All-Metro Region Second Team. The announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon, May 17.

Betch and Freeman are among the distinguished group of 256 Division III women’s lacrosse players recognized by the IWLCA, earning a spot on one of the eight All-Region Teams. This achievement now makes them eligible for selection to the IWLCA All-America team, which will be revealed on May 24.

Hailey Betch, who was named the 2023 United East Conference Offensive Player of the Year, has received her first-ever all-region accolade. Earlier, on May 4, she was recognized as a member of the All-United East First Team for her outstanding performance at the attack position. Betch reached a significant milestone on April 1, surpassing 100 career points with a stellar seven-point display against Lancaster Bible College. Standing at 6 feet tall, the attacker currently holds the 31st position in Division III with an impressive 97 points, leading the conference with an average of 5.11 points per game, ranking 47th overall.

Betch has also demonstrated her prowess as a goal scorer, ranking 49th nationally with 64 goals, topping the charts in the United East. Furthermore, she has contributed significantly to the team with 33 assists, leading the conference, and excelling in draw controls with 58, securing a third-place position in the league. Betch’s impact extends beyond scoring, as she has also showcased her defensive abilities with 24 ground balls and eight caused turnovers throughout the season. Her consistent presence was evident in her starting all 19 games for the Seahawks.

Another key player for St. Mary’s College, Rachael Freeman, the 2023 United East Defensive Player of the Year, has earned her first career all-region recognition. Freeman, a two-time All-United East First Team selection in 2022 and 2023 for her exemplary defensive skills, played a crucial role in anchoring the team’s strong defense, which allowed only 12 goals in five conference games.

Standing at 5 feet 2 inches, Freeman has showcased her dominance in ground balls, leading the United East with an impressive 53. She has also made her mark in causing turnovers, tying for fourth in the conference with 23. Freeman has been a consistent starter in all 19 games this season, further contributing to the team’s success. On April 22, she achieved the significant milestone of collecting her 100th career loose ball with a two-ground ball performance against Mount Aloysius College. Freeman’s versatility was evident as she also contributed three goals this season, marking her first in her lacrosse career.

The St. Mary’s College women’s lacrosse team had an exceptional 2023 season, concluding with an 11-8 overall record (5-0 UEC). They secured their position as the back-to-back United East regular-season and tournament champions. As a result of their impressive performance, the Seahawks earned their second consecutive and overall 10th bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament. However, they were eliminated in the first round by No. 11-ranked Messiah College.

The recognition of Hailey Betch and Rachael Freeman on the IWLCA All-Metro Region Second Team serves as a testament to their outstanding skills and contributions to the St. Mary’s College women’s lacrosse program. Their selection among the top Division III players in the metro region highlights their exceptional abilities and their impact on the team’s success.

Head coach of the St. Mary’s College women’s lacrosse team and their teammates commended Betch and Freeman for their remarkable achievements. The coach expressed pride in their dedication, hard work, and talent, emphasizing how they have consistently raised the bar for the team and served as integral components of their victories throughout the season.

Betch’s offensive prowess has been a driving force for the Seahawks. Her ability to find the back of the net and her playmaking skills have made her a formidable threat on the field. Her 100th career point milestone exemplifies her consistent performance and impact on the team. Betch’s leadership and offensive contributions have been crucial to the team’s success, as evidenced by her impressive statistics and recognition as the United East Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Freeman, on the other hand, has been a stalwart defender for the Seahawks. Her tenacity, strategic play, and defensive instincts have helped anchor the team’s backline and limit opponents’ scoring opportunities. The stingy defense, which allowed only 12 goals in conference games, owes much of its success to Freeman’s skills and leadership. Her achievement of collecting 100 career loose balls reflects her commitment to securing possessions and disrupting the opposition’s offense.

The St. Mary’s College women’s lacrosse team’s overall performance this season has been exceptional. Their 11-8 record and back-to-back United East titles demonstrate their ability to rise to the occasion and excel against tough competition. The team’s success can be attributed to their strong offense, anchored by Hailey Betch, and their disciplined defense led by Rachael Freeman.

Despite their elimination in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament, the Seahawks have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the lacrosse community. The team’s achievements, including their consecutive conference championships and national tournament appearances, have cemented their status as a force to be reckoned with.

Looking ahead, the recognition of Betch and Freeman on the IWLCA All-Metro Region Second Team sets the stage for their potential selection to the All-America team. If chosen, it would be a testament to their exceptional skills and contributions to the sport. The entire St. Mary’s College community eagerly awaits the announcement on May 24, eagerly anticipating the possibility of these two remarkable athletes receiving further recognition on a national level.

In conclusion, Hailey Betch and Rachael Freeman’s inclusion on the IWLCA All-Metro Region Second Team showcases their exceptional talent and impact on the St. Mary’s College women’s lacrosse team. Their offensive and defensive contributions have been instrumental in the team’s success throughout the season. As they await the announcement of the All-America team, their achievements highlight their dedication and commitment to the sport. Betch and Freeman’s recognition further solidifies the Seahawks’ position as a competitive force in Division III women’s lacrosse.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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