Though the 2006 women’s lacrosse season is just midway through, to call captain Margaux Viola’s play anything short of stellar is an incredible understatement.
Recently named to the watch list of the Tewaaraton Trophy – the award for the top player in women’s collegiate lacrosse – Viola has emerged as such a special player not for just one standout characteristic or statistic. Instead, the junior midfielder has made a name for herself by helping her team in seemingly every aspect of the game.
“She is a very important player for us,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “She excels on both attack and defense, and is our draw control specialist as well – it really shows how multi-dimensional she is as a player.”
Offensively, Viola is well on her way to more than doubling her career point total in this season alone.
Currently leading the Red with 22 goals and second on the team with 25 points, she has played a major role in helping the team average 12.9 goals per game – an impressive 2.8 goal improvement from a year ago.
Viola almost single-handedly set the tone for Cornell’s strong offensive output in the current season, recording three straight four-point games to kick-off the 2006 campaign.
In fact, having notched at least three goals in six of the team’s eight games this season, she seems to have a penchant for consistently making a big impact.
“We’ve gotten very consistent play from Viola,” Graap said. “It seems like she’s scored two or three goals in every game.”
However, even with such great offensive statistics, it is not her play on the attack that Graap is most eager to praise when asked about her player. Instead, the coach quickly points out Viola’s other strengths, including her ability as a leader.
“I think it says a lot about her when the team elects her to be captain as a junior. It shows the leadership she posses and her consistency as a player.”
Additionally, Graap also makes sure to mention her contributions as the team’s top option on draw controls. Viola currently leads the squad in draws won with 21.
However, the coach seemed to be most impressed by the way her captain has contributed at the defensive end. Known as one of the best two-way players in the Ivy League, Viola’s abilities to get up and down the field have only improved as her collegiate career progresses.
“She has really stepped up her game defensively as a junior,” Graap said.
A three sport star in high school at Episcopal Academy, the Penn Valley, Pa. native excelled in lacrosse. A two-time All-American, including a first team selection in 2003, Viola led her team to an undefeated season and a No. 9 national ranking in her senior year.
Following her older brother Chris Viola ’03 to play lacrosse at Cornell, she made an immediate impact as a freshman. She scored eight goals and added four assists while starting all but two games in that season.
Last year, she emerged as one of the team’s top offensive threats. The then-sophomore finished third on the team in points after posting 24 goals and eight assists.
“She’s had a great career,” Graap said. “It is an incredible honor for her to be named to the Tewaaraton watch list, especially as a junior.”
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer