Gilbert, Ariz. -- The National Field Hockey Coaches Association recognized four University of Lynchburg field hockey players on its All-South Region teams, the organization announced Wednesday morning.
The Old Dominion Athletic Conference champions saw two players -- sophomore forward Jackie Lerro (Royersford, Pa.) and senior forward Nikki Simpao (Stafford, Va.) -- on the first team, and the second team included two more in sophomore defender Alexis Brown (Culpeper, Va.) and senior midfielder Kayla Copeman (Williamsburg, Va.).
Lerro moves up to the region's first team after earning second-team honors as a freshman. The speedy sophomore tallied 19 goals and 12 assists, ranking in the top 50 nationally in both categories. She was also a first-team All-ODAC selection and earned a spot on the all-tournament team.
Simpao takes her fourth-career first-team all-region accolade as she ranked second in Division III with 22 assists, a single-season school record, and fourth nationally in points with 68. Her 23 goals also led the ODAC, earning her a second-career conference player of the year. She broke the league record with six assists in the conference championship game and was included on the all-tournament team. Simpao also set the program's career assists record (57) this season, and she finished her career third on Lynchburg's all-time points leaderboard with 223.
Brown piles the region award onto a hefty stack from this season, including first-team all-conference and ODAC all-tournament team recognitions. She scored two goals and an assist and helped the Hornets secure six shutouts on the year.
Copeman earns her first-ever all-region honor, finishing a spectacular career with a flourish. Moving from forward to midfield prior to the season, she still finished with eight goals and eight assists while aiding one of the best defensive units in the region. A four-time All-ODAC honoree, she was a first-time first-teamer as a senior.
Lynchburg finished the season 16-6, winning the program's 19th Old Dominion Athletic Conference title and claiming an NCAA tournament victory for the first time since 2012. The Hornets rode a 12-game win streak into the second round of the national championship before falling 1-0 to No. 3 Rowan. The team received votes in the latest NFHCA coaches poll.
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