The awards and recognitions for Muhlenberg College freshman lacrosse midfielder Stephanie Umbach literally roll off the tongue.
An All-Centennial Conference first-team selection, Umbach, a 2011 Bridgewater-Raritan High School graduate, became just the fourth player in the conference's history to earn first-team honors as a freshman.
Umbach became just the seventh first-team selection in school history. She also made All-Metro Region second team, becoming the first freshman in the school's history to achieve that impressive feat.
When asked about her accomplishments, Umbach displays a humbleness often not found in athletics.
“It felt great to accomplish all these goals,” she said. “I knew I had a good all-around year but did not expect all the recognition."
“It is an amazing feeling that I was able to finish my season being selected first team-all conference," she added. "I was not aware of the records, but did appreciate the recognition.”
The midfielder started and played in all of the team’s 13 games and finished the season dotting her name among the team leaders in several categories. She finished third in goals with 26, third in assists with 12, first in ground balls with 30, first in draw controls with 64 and first in forced turnovers with 25.
“I strived to be the best I can for my team and play the roles needed,” she said. “I knew then my team would do the same."
“My all-around year was in part because I was a freshman new to the team," she added. "My coaches and teammates asked me to play a certain role on the field like taking face-offs, which I did not do in high school.”
Umbach led the conference and ranks 10th among Division III freshmen in caused turnovers per game [1.92], and was third in the CC and 10th nationally amongst freshmen in draw controls per game [4.92].
Umbach's 64 draw controls were second-most in a season in school history, including a single-game record 12 against Swarthmore.
And Umbach was able to help the team out in many capacities from her midfield position.
“Midfield is a tough position, you have to be in shape and have good conditioning to be effective in both the offensive and defensive zones,” she said.
The Mules got off to an impressive 4-1 start, which included its fifth perfect non-conference record in seven seasons, but the team finished the season 5-8 overall. Among those losses, five came by one goal.
It was the first time since 2007 that Muhlenberg lost a one-goal game and had never lost more than two in any year.
“The Centennial Conference is very competitive in Division III with teams like Gettysburg, and Franklin and Marshall,” Umbach said. “It was tough to lose five games by one goal, but it also said a lot about our team and how we never gave up.”
Umbach, who plans on majoring in business and marketing, and has two siblings that have played lacrosse, trains regularly over the summer and will help out at camps in Bridgewater and at Muhlenberg. She will also train with the team in fall and winter as her sophomore year commences.
“I need to work on being more of a leader on my team for my teammates,” she said of her goals for next year.