Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Eight members of the Elms College women's lacrosse team were selected to the 2017 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women's Lacrosse All-Conference teams, in an announcement from the league office Monday. Junior Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.) received First Team All-NECC honors, while seniors Kathleen Tuechler (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Kaeleigh Dowe (Somers, Conn.) and Meeghan O'Connor (Fall River, Mass.), sophomore Vanessa Vurno (Salem, Conn.) and freshman Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.) were Second Team All-NECC selections. Freshmen Alecia Keesee (Westfield, Mass.) and Janis Christian (Westfield, Mass.) were tabbed Third Team All-NECC.
Soucia collected her second straight First Team designation after totaling 47 points on 31 goals and 16 assists while posting team-highs in draw controls (74), groundballs (69), and caused turnovers (41). Soucia led the NECC in caused turnovers, and ranked second in groundballs and third in caused turnovers. Soucia became the eighth player in program history to amass 100 career points.
In her debut season, Richard set a new program record for goals in a season, potting 54 goals, fourth-most in the NECC. Richard totaled 69 points, second-most in a season in program history, adding 15 assists, while nabbing 49 groundballs, 30 draw controls and 22 caused turnovers. Richard ranked fifth in the NECC in points and shots (102), seventh in groundballs and caused turnovers, and eighth in assists.
The reigning 2016 NECC Rookie of the Year, Vurno became the program's career assist leader in 2017, delivering 35 helpers with 39 goals for a team-high 74 points. Vurno surpassed Ashley Cava (62) with 68 career assists. Vurno contributed 26 groundballs, nine caused turnovers, and seven draw controls. Vurno led the NECC in assists while ranking third in points and tenth in goals.
After missing the last two seasons due to injury, Tuechler returned to the All-Conference squad, adding a Second Team selection with her First Team honor as a freshman in 2014. Tuechler started all 16 games at midfield, recording 34 points with 20 goals and 14 assists, along with 54 draw controls, 48 groundballs, and 32 caused turnovers. Tuechler ranked fifth in the NECC in caused turnovers, sixth in draw controls, eighth in groundballs, and ninth in assists.
Dowe earned her first All-Conference accolade after anchoring the Blazers defensive line. Dowe started 15 of 16 games as a senior, recording 26 groundballs, 21 caused turnovers while adding an assists on the offensive end.
O'Connor was a force between the pipes for the Blazers, setting a new program record for wins in a season (13), while setting new career-highs in goals against average (8.19) and save percentage (47.3). O'Connor racked up 107 saves in 871-plus minutes of action. O'Connor led the NECC in wins, while ranking second in GAA and save percentage, third in minutes played, and sixth in saves. O'Connor moved into fourth all-time in goalkeeper saves with 287 stops.
The Westfield connection of Keesee and Christian contributed successful freshman campaigns for the Blazers en route to All-Conference selections. Keesee totaled 41 points with 32 goals, third-most on the team, and nine assists, while Chirstian recorded 37 points with 27 goals and 10 assists. Keesee added 16 groundballs and seven draw controls, while Christian grabbed 29 groundballs with 13 draw controls and nine caused turnovers.
Junior Arianna Santiago-Sullivan (Willimantic, Conn.) was selected to represent the Blazers on the NECC All-Sportsmanship team.
Player of the Year: Ashley Murtha, Mitchell College
Goalkeeper of the Year: Meghan Lewis, Wheelock College
Rookie of the Year: Kerri Anselmo, Regis College
Coach of the Year: Courtney Duggan, Regis College
All Conference First Team
A – Kaylee Herring, Bay Path (Jr., Worcester, Vt.)
A – Ashley Murtha, Mitchell (Sr., South Windsor, Conn.)
A – Kerri Anselmo, Regis (Fr., Natick, Mass.)
A – Emily Lesure, Southern Vermont (Sr., Cheshire, Mass.)
M – Jackie Soucia, Elms (Jr., Belchertown, Mass.)
M – Mel Orrell, Southern Vermont (Sr., Gloucester, Mass.)
M – Katie Frade, Wheelock (Jr., Dartmouth, Mass.)
M – Colleen Macdonald, Wheelock (So., Sandwhich, Mass.)
D – Rachel Adams, Becker (So., Leominster, Mass.)
D – Maddy Rodriguez, Regis (Fr., Amherst, Mass.)
D – Violet Vig, Wheelock (Sr., Glastonbury, Mass.)
GK – Meghan Lewis, Wheelock (Sr., South Berwick, Maine)
All Conference Second Team
A – Vanessa Vurno, Elms (So., Salem, Conn.)
A – Haley Richard, Elms (Fr., Monson, Mass.)
A – Taylor Assarian Regis (So., Arlington, Mass.)
A – Georgia Schindele, Wheelock (So., Sparkill, N.Y.)
M – Elena Helming, Bay Path (Jr., Maplewood, N.J.)
M – Kathleen Tuechler, Elms (Sr., Farmingdale, N.Y.)
M – Linsay Bumila, Regis (Jr., Raynham, Mass.)
M – Lauren Nesshoever, Southern Vermont (So., Chittenden, Vt.)
D – Megan Mackie, Bay Path (So., APO,/AE)
D – Samantha Carter, Becker (Fr., Boothbay, Maine)
D – Kaeleigh Dowe, Elms (Sr., Somers, Conn.)
GK – Meeghan O'Connor, Elms (Sr., Fall River, Mass.)
All Conference Third Team
A – Taryn Flebbe, Becker (So., Neptune, N.J.)
A – Madeline Roulier, Daniel Webster (Sr., Pittsfield, Mass.)
A – Janis Christian, Elms (Fr., Westfield, Mass.)
A – Alecia Keesee, Elms (Fr., Westfield, Mass.)
M – Dallas Jackson, Bay Path (Sr., Springfield, Mass.)
M – Meghan Bealka, Becker (Jr., Freetown, Mass.)
M – Cassandra Nelson, Becker (Fr., Exeter, N.H.)
M – Brooke Ross, Regis (Fr., Hanover, Mass.)
D – Jordyn Martel, Becker (So., Chicopee, Mass.)
D – Sydnee Julian, Southern Vermont (So., Mexico, N.Y.)
D – Rachel Danis, Wheelock (Jr., Underhill, Vt.)
GK – Maresa Malcolm, Regis (Jr., Barrington, N.J.)
All Sportsmanship Team
Raquel Neary, Bay Path (Sr., D, Revere, Mass.)
Jordyn Martel, Becker (So., D, Leominster, Mass.)
Delaney Ruiz, Daniel Webster (Fr., D, Meriden, Conn.)
Arianna Santiago-Sullivan, Elms (Jr., M, Willimantic, Conn.)
Willeen Pun, Mitchell (Sr., D, Stamford, Conn.)
Keely Molloy, Newbury (Fr., GK, Staten, Island, N.Y.)
Emma Dagesse, Regis (Sr., D, Rockland, Mass.)
Stephany Ferreira, Southern Vermont (So., M, Shelton, Conn.)
Gabrielle Haywood, Wheelock (Jr., D, East Longmeadow, Mass.)