Field hockey lands four on all-region teams

IMages of the two first-team all-region players, Nikki Simpao and Jackie Lerro, flanking text that reads NFHCA first-team all-region

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.).

RELATED: 2018 Longstreth/NFHCA Division III All-Region Teams

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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--LYN--

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