DENVER – Attacker Julia Gilbert of the University of Denver women’s lacrosse team will return for a fifth season of eligibility with the Pioneers in 2024.
Gilbert led DU in 2023 by recording career highs with 59 goals and 67 points and added eight assists. Serving as one of the team’s captains as a senior, she scored in all 23 games for the Pioneers and led the squad with eight game-winning goals. Her 59 tallies were tied for the fourth-most in a season in DU history while her 67 points ranked fourth in the Big East and marked the second straight campaign where she scored 60-plus points.
The 2023 Big East Co-Attacker of the Year registered 13 hat tricks during the campaign and tallied multiple goals in 20 games, all consecutively from Feb. 18-May 18. Gilbert was also first on the team in shots (130), shots on goal (104), shots per game (5.65) and shots on goal per game (4.52), while finishing with nine ground balls, five caused turnovers and one draw control.
Gilbert went 18-for-26 on free-position shots during the year, leading the team in goals from the eight-meter and setting a new single-season program record. She broke Ali Flury’s 2017 mark of 17 free-position tallies in a campaign when she tallied the game-tying goal in the Pioneers’ comeback win in the NCAA Quarterfinals at No. 4 North Carolina on May 18, securing the team’s berth in its first Championship Weekend.
Overall, Gilbert totaled 15 goals in six postseason contests, with nine tallies coming in four NCAA Tournament games.
A member of the IWLCA West/Midwest Region Second Team and All-Big East First Team, Gilbert was also named to the Big East All-Tournament Team in 2023 and was twice named the conference’s Attacker of the Week. She was recognized as the IWLCA National Co-Offensive Player of the Week on March 7, becoming just the second Pioneer to earn the offensive weekly award (Elizabeth Behrins, April 5, 2017).
The McLean, Virginia, native has recorded 140 goals and 28 assists for 168 career points over the course of four seasons at Denver. She tallied her 100th career goal on March 13 versus Delaware to become the 12th-fastest Pioneer to reach the century mark (53 games). She ranks eighth all-time in goals at DU and is 62 away from matching Flury’s program record of 202 (2007-2010). Gilbert is also 31 points shy of cracking the top 10 in career points and is 13 games from tying Bea Behrins’ career games played record of 81 set from 2018-2022.
Gilbert gained an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA due to the disruption of seasons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Offensively, Gilbert led a group that featured five different scorers with 20 or more goals and a team that scored double-digit tallies in 13 of the last 16 games (13 of which were in a row), outscoring opponents 12.4-6.3 in that span that began on March 9.
DU finished No. 4 in the national rankings following its first appearance in the national semifinals with a 22-1 record, leading the country in wins and tying for the fewest losses. The Pioneers also won their fourth straight Big East regular season title and third consecutive conference tournament championship in 2023.
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