Northern Michigan University Wildcats’ defender Lauryn Rygiel earns All-Midwest Region honors in women’s lacrosse

Northern Michigan University midfielder Lauryn Rygiel, front left, waits to defend in front of Wildcats’ goalie Hannah Melander in a game played against Missouri Western State at the Superior Dome in Marquette on Feb. 25. (Photo courtesy NMU)

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Northern Michigan University lacrosse senior defender Lauryn Rygiel was selected to the Midwest All-Region First Team by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association on Wednesday.

Rygiel is the first Wildcat to be named to the all-region team in the six-year history of the NMU program that began in 2017 and had its 2020 pandemic season cut off after just a small handful of games.

Rygiel is the program’s all-time leader in caused turnovers with 63, second in ground balls with 78 and third in draw controls with 131.

The native of the outer Detroit suburb of South Lyon is coming off honors as the top defender in the GLIAC, winning the Defender of the Year award in the conference to go along with All-GLIAC First Team recognition in each of the last three seasons.

She started all 18 games for the Wildcats this winter and spring and played a critical part in the NMU defensive corps.

Lauryn Rygiel

Rygiel helped lead Northern to a program-record 11 wins and was a pivotal component in a back-and-forth battle with national powerhouse Grand Valley State for the GLIAC championship. In regular-season conference games, she caused 10 turnovers to lead the GLIAC.

The IWLCA honored 128 student-athletes in NCAA Division II with selection to all-region teams. Each student-athlete is now eligible to be named to a national IWLCA All-American team. The IWLCA will announce the 2023 All-American teams later this week.

The Midwest Region First Team included three GVSU players — senior midfielder Molly Bursinger, junior attacker Maddy Champagne and graduate student attacker Maggie Hammer — with another four Lakers on the Second Team.

They were the only players selected from GLIAC schools.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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