Laura Kurash, Wesleyan University
Named the 2012 NESCAC Player of the Year in women's soccer, Laura Kurash concluded her tremendous four-year career by leading Wesleyan to its second straight NESCAC tournament semifinal appearance after a 2-0 upset of top-seed Middlebury in the quarterfinals. Kurash had the insurance goal with 10 minutes to play in the last victory of her career. It was her 37th goal, second-best among Wesleyan players, and pushed her career point total to 88, also second all-time at the college. Of her 37 goals, a remarkable 15 (40 percent) counted as game-winners. Wesleyan posted a 25-21-6 overall record with Kurash in the lineup. Thus, she had the deciding tally in 60 percent of the Cardinals' victories.
Though missing eight games her freshman season due to injury, Kurash still got the attention of the NESCAC coaches as she was honored with Rookie of the Year honors as well as second-team all-NESCAC accolades after netting six goals along with three assists in seven contests. Leading Wesleyan in scoring all four years, she went on to earn first-team all-NESCAC laurels each of her final three campaigns. In both 2011 and 2012, she was recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) with a spot on its all-New England first team. Both those years, she also was a CoSIDA/Capital One District II academic All-American.
Kurash, who tied for the second in the NESCAC in goals in 2012 with nine and finished third in points with 22, was a two-time (2011-12 and 2012-13) recipient of Wesleyan's Suki Hoagland Award, presented annually to the outstanding contributor to women's athletics at the college. She added the Roger Maynard Award in 2012-13, signifying her as the top female scholar-athlete at Wesleyan.