Four years ago, Boulder native Sarah Brown was a record-setting scorer for the co-op girls lacrosse team at Centaurus High School.

As her career at the University of Colorado barrels toward the finish line, Brown is being recognized as one of the top collegiate defenders in the region, and perhaps even the nation.

On Friday the Pac-12 Conference announced its inaugural women's lacrosse postseason awards, with Brown and coach Ann Elliott leading the honorees for the Buffaloes. Brown was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, while Elliott collected the Coach of the Year award after leading the Buffs to the league's regular season title.

Brown was one of four CU players to land first team all-league honors, a list that also includes senior attacker Darby Kiernan, junior attacker Miranda Stinson, and third-year sophomore goalie Julia Lisella.

Senior defender Kelsie Garrison was CU's lone representative on the All-Pac-12 second team.

It was the third consecutive first team all-league honors for Brown and Kiernan, who also earned those accolades the past two years in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Brown arrived at CU as a midfielder but was moved to defense following her freshman season with spectacular results. Brown was a second team All-American selection last year by Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association, and this season she ranked second in league games in caused turnovers with 32.


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Elliott also was named the coach of the year last year in the MPSF. The Buffs will learn their NCAA Tournament destination and opponent on Sunday night.

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07