ARNOLD, MD. – The Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) women’s lacrosse team, the 2023 NJCAA national champions, celebrated another achievement as five of their players were named NJCAA All-Americans. The announcement was made on Tuesday, recognizing the exceptional performances of these athletes. Among the honorees was sophomore midfielder Savanna Reitz from Odenton, Md./Arundel, who received her second All-America award.
Joining Reitz on the All-America team were freshman midfielders Lyndsey Miller from Lothian, Md./Southern, and Julia Sokolowski from Annapolis, Md./Broadneck, as well as sophomore midfielder Nellie Gownley from Annapolis, Md./Broadneck, and sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Evans from Gambrills, Md./Arundel.
Lyndsey Miller had an outstanding season, ranking third in the nation in points (77) and goals (56), and fourth in assists (21) in eight games played. She demonstrated her prowess by recording 41 draw controls and consistently scoring five or more goals in every game she played. Miller’s remarkable performance earned her the title of NJCAA Player of the Week, following an extraordinary match against the then No. 3 ranked team, Monroe, where she scored a program-best 11 goals and provided two assists on April 8.
Julia Sokolowski showcased her skills as well, ranking second in the nation in points (83), goals (60), and assists (23), and third nationally with 67 draw controls. She received the NJCAA Player of the Week award twice during the season and was recognized as the NJCAA Region 20 Player of the Month for April. Sokolowski’s remarkable contributions included a total of 32 points on 25 goals and seven assists in four games. Her exceptional performance earned her the NJCAA Player of the Week title twice during the season.
Savanna Reitz, the draw specialist for AACC, played a vital role in the team’s success. She ranked fourth in the NJCAA with 52 draws and contributed to the team’s overall success in draw controls, as AACC finished second in the nation in this category. Reitz, the only returning All-American from the previous year, scored 35 points on 28 goals and seven assists. Her outstanding performance in March 2023 earned her the title of NJCAA Region 20 Player of the Month. During that period, Reitz played a crucial role in leading the Riverhawks to secure three wins, where they dominated the draws, winning 54% of them.
Nellie Gownley, known for her defensive prowess, was a key player for the Riverhawks. Her exceptional defensive skills contributed to AACC’s second-highest total of caused turnovers in the nation. Gownley started in eight out of nine games and showcased her abilities at the end of the season, securing 10 points (eight goals, two assists) in the playoffs. Gownley also excelled in draw controls, recording a total of 34 draw controls, including 19 in the final three games of the season.
Kaitlyn Evans, the talented goalkeeper for AACC, led the nation with an impressive 9.50 goals against average. Throughout the season, Evans made 84 saves in 600 minutes played. She demonstrated her skills and determination in the national title game against Onondaga, making 11 crucial saves. Evans was named the NJCAA Player of the Week during the opening week of the season after leading the Riverhawks to an upset victory over then No. 2 ranked Harford with six saves. Her exceptional performance propelled the team to claim the number one ranking for the remainder of the season.
The recognition of these five talented athletes as NJCAA All-Americans adds to the long-standing success of the AACC women’s lacrosse program. In 2022, the team had five student-athletes named All-Americans, showcasing their consistent commitment to excellence. Since the program’s inception in 2004, the Riverhawks have had an impressive total of 56 student-athletes receive the prestigious All-America honors.
The AACC women’s lacrosse team’s national championship victory and the subsequent recognition of their players as All-Americans demonstrate the program’s dedication to fostering exceptional talent and achieving outstanding results. Head Coach Sarah Dougherty and her coaching staff have consistently nurtured a winning culture, pushing their athletes to reach their full potential.
The selection of these five players as NJCAA All-Americans highlights their individual skills and contributions and reflects the team’s overall strength and depth. Each player showcased exceptional abilities in their respective positions, contributing to the team’s success on both ends of the field.
As the AACC women’s lacrosse program continues to celebrate its national championship title, the recognition of these five All-Americans further solidifies their status as one of the premier teams in collegiate lacrosse. The achievements of Savanna Reitz, Lyndsey Miller, Julia Sokolowski, Nellie Gownley, and Kaitlyn Evans will undoubtedly serve as inspiration for future players and solidify the team’s legacy.
Looking ahead, the AACC women’s lacrosse program will aim to build upon its success and maintain its status as a powerhouse in collegiate lacrosse. With a winning culture, talented athletes, and exceptional coaching staff, the Riverhawks will continue to strive for excellence on and off the field.