MARSHFIELD, Mass. – Five members of the Elms College women's soccer team were honored with All-New England Collegiate Conference recognition on Friday as the league announced its postseason awards.
Kelsea Shea (Belchertown, Mass.) and Christina Leonardo (Enfield, Conn.) were voted to the All-NECC first-team by the conferences head coaches while Sydney Goodwin (Lawrence, Mass.) and Rebecca Molin (West Hartford, Conn.) were voted to the second-team. Gigi Thibault (South Hadley, Mass.) earned a spot on the All-NECC third team.
Shea, a senior mid-fielder, started 18 games for the Blazers and registered seven points with one goal and five assists. Six of the points came during NECC play. She recorded five points in a two-game stretch with a goal against Mitchell on Oct. 6 followed by a three-assist performance at Newbury on Oct. 10.
Leonardo, a senior defender, anchored back-line the allowed just six goals in nine conference games. She started every game and helped the Blazer defense turn in eight shutout performances during the regular-season, including six in NECC play. Leonardo also recorded one assist in 2018, helping the Elms offense in a 3-2 NECC win over Southern Vermont on Oct. 13.
Goodwin made an immediate impact for the Blazers in her freshman campaign, leading the team with eight goals and 18 points heading into the postseason. She had multi-goal performances against Fitchburg State on Sept. 12 and Newbury on Oct. 10 and was recognized as the NECC Rookie of the Week on Sept. 17 and Sept. 24. Seventeen of her 18 points came in Elms' final 13 games of the regular season.
Molin picks up All-NECC honors for the third consecutive season after a first-team nod in 2016 and a third-team selection in 2017. The junior goalkeeper has seven shutouts in 2018 and owns a .795 save percentage with a 1.00 goals-against average. She has made 66 saves this season.
Thibault picked up third-team All-NECC recognition after collecting seven points on three goals and an assist in 2018. Eleven of her 15 shots during the season were on target and two of her three goals were game-winners. Thibault scored her three goals in a five-game stretch beginning with a score at Mitchell on Oct. 6.
Blazer sophomore Sam Manchino (Chicopee, Mass.) was selected to represent Elms on the Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team.
After posting a perfect 9-0 NECC record, Lesley University boasted three of the league's four major award winners. McKenna Straube took home Player of the Year honors while Sophie Smurthwaite was voted as the NECC Rookie of the Year and Paul Vasconcelos earned Coach of the Year recognition. New England College goalkeeper Kayla Puglise was voted the NECC Goalkeeper of the Year.
The Blazers enter the NECC Tournament as the No. 3 seed after posting an 11-6-1 overall record and a 7-2 mark in league play. Elms will host sixth-seeded Becker in the quarterfinals on Oct. 27 at 1:00 p.m.
2018 New England Collegiate Conference Women's Soccer All-Conference
Player of the Year - McKenna Straube, Lesley
Goalkeeper of the Year - Kayla Puglise, NEC
Rookie of the Year - Sophie Smurthwaite, Lesley
Coach of the Year - Paul Vasconcelos, Lesley
First Team All-NECC
F – Lindsey Keith, Becker (Sr., Sutton, Mass.)
F – Jordan Mitchell, Lesley (Sr., Sachse, Texas)
F – Michaela Pomeroy, New England Col. (Sr., Thetford, Vt.)
M – Kelsey Shea, Elms (Sr., Belchertown, Mass.)
M – McKenna Straube, Lesley (Sr., Junction City, Ore.)
M- Emily LePage, New England Col. (Sr., West Greenwich, R.I.)
M – Molly Madore, Southern Vermont (Sr., Higganum, Conn.)
D – Christina Leonardo, Elms (Sr., Enfield, Conn.)
D – Melanie Mathewson, Lesley (Jr., Santa Rosa, Calif.)
D – Jayne Wierzbicki, Southern Vermont (So., Wilmington, Mass.)
GK – Kayla Pugliese, New England Col. (Sr., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Second Team All-NECC
F- Jai Ruiz, Bay Path (Sr., Hadley, Mass.)
F- Sydney Goodwin, Elms (Fr., Lawrence, Mass.)
F- Samantha Bessey, Lesley (Jr., Algonquin, Ill.)
M- Shannon Kelley, Becker (So., Bellingham, Mass.)
M- Ciara McKissick, Becker (Sr., Charlton, Mass.)
M- Rachel Buckley, Lesley (Sr., San Diego, Calif.)
M- Taylor Mallett, Southern Vermont (Jr., Berwick, Maine)
D – Kyra Harbus, Lesley (Sr., Ventura, Calif.)
D – Dawn Johnson, New England Col. (Sr., Farmingdale, N.Y.)
D – Madison Wheeler, New England Col. (Fr., Benton City, Wash.)
GK – Rebecca Molin, Elms (Jr., West Hartford, Conn.)
Third Team All-NECC
F- Sam Bernardi, Eastern Nazarene (So., Longmeadow, Mass.)
F- Xaelel Allen-Caballero, Lesley (Sr., Henrietta, N.Y.)
F- Bridgette Winters, New England Col. (So., Hillsboro, N.H.)
M- Kyndall Fry, Eastern Nazarene (So., Tampa, Fla.)
M- Gigi Thibault, Elms (Sr., South Hadley, Mass.)
M- Amanda Cardoso, Newbury (Jr., Watertown, Mass.)
M- Maddie Gibney, Southern Vermont (Fr., Albany, N.Y.)
D- Sophie Smurthwaite, Lesley (Fr., Woodland Hills, Calif.)
D- Emilie Nowakowski, New England Col. (Sr., Meriden, Conn.)
D- Naya Cerda, Southern Vermont (Sr., West Islip, N.Y.)
GK- Brittley Gaan, Lesley (Jr. Bellevue, Wash.)
Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team
Jai Ruiz, Bay Path (Jr., Hadley, Mass.)
Rebecca Beringer, Becker (Fr., Waterville, Maine.)
Janyssa Reyes, Dean (Sr., Hyde Park, Mass.)
Michaela Connors, Eastern Nazarene (Jr., Norwell, Mass.)
Sam Manchino, Elms (So., Chicopee, Mass.)
Gabby Vesona, Lesley (Jr., North Attleboro, Mass.)
Jacquelyn White, Mitchell (Sr., Danville, Vt.)
Dawn Johnson, NEC (Sr., Farmingdale, N.Y.)
Gabbriella Cuevas, Newbury (Fr., West Valley City, Utah)
Vanessa Kendall, Southern Vermont (Sr., Coventry, Conn.)