Tufts Women’s Lacrosse Goalie Wins National Accolade
Following a standout season, Molly Laliberty, A22, was named the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division III Goalkeeper of the Year for 2021.
Back in January, before Tufts even knew it was going to play a competitive schedule in the spring, Laliberty was selected as the US Lacrosse Magazine Division III Preseason Goalie of the Year. The Jumbos did in fact play, and Laliberty proved the prediction correct as the IWLCA honoree at the position.
Laliberty was the backbone of head coach Courtney Shute’s team, which won the program’s first-ever NESCAC championship this spring. Tufts also advanced to play in its first-ever NCAA championship game, losing by the closest of margins in a 14-13 final against Salisbury University. The Jumbos finished the season with a 10-1 record.
“We could not be more proud of Molly to be recognized on the national stage as the best goalie in the country,” Shute said. “Molly is a special goalie. The beautiful thing about what makes her so good is her ability to train and prepare at an elite level. She will never be out-worked. She is a leader for our program by the example she sets and the work ethic with which she prepares both herself and our team.”
Playing 630 of the team’s 660 total minutes this spring, Laliberty saved 112 of the 188 shots she faced for a .594 save percentage, which ranked sixth nationally. Her 7.24 goals against average was 15th for Division III. The Jumbos played six of their 11 games against NCAA qualifying teams and also faced a Division I opponent.
Lalibery may have been at her best playing against Division I Dartmouth, making 14 saves on 19 shots (73.7%) in an 11-5 Tufts victory. She was 13 for 16 (81.3%) in the NESCAC championship game against Wesleyan, a 14-3 win. She made 12 saves in the Elite 8 victory over TCNJ, including three within a four-minute stretch late as Tufts protected an 11-10 lead.
NESCAC named Laliberty its Player of the Year, and she also received an All-Conference 1st team accolade. She was IWLCA All-Region 1st team and then IWLCA All-American 1st team as well. A two-time NESCAC Player of the Week during the season, she was also selected as the IWLCA Defensive Player of the Week nationally on April 27.
An English major and Newburyport, Massachusetts, native, Laliberty is also a NESCAC All-Academic Team honoree, with above a 3.5 grade point average.
Athletics Communications director Paul Sweeney can be reached at email@example.com.