Trinity’s Griffin Selected as Player of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. - Trinity junior midfielder Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) has been chosen by the conference coaches as the 2015 NESCAC Player of the Year. Griffin is the fourth Bantam in five years to receive the award, joining Megan Leonhard (2013), Liz Bruno (2012) and Rachel Romanowsky (2011). Griffin helped Trinity earn the top seed in the NESCAC Championship for the sixth consecutive season, as the Bantams pursue their fifth straight conference title this weekend.
In addition to being named the Player of the Year, Griffin earned all-conference accolades for the first time in her career. Griffin has played a pivotal role in helping Trinity own the top scoring offense and defense in the NESCAC, scoring 13.44 goals per game, while holding opponents to 6.96 goals per contest. She currently leads the league with 81 points on a conference-best 63 goals and 18 assists, which is fifth in the NESCAC. Griffin has scored five goals or more in seven games this season. She also ranks among the league’s top five players in draw controls (52) and ground balls (32). Currently, Griffin is nine goals away from tying the single-season program record and just five points shy of breaking the school record.
Joining Griffin at midfield is a trio of repeat all-conference selections, junior Laurel Pascal (Greenwich, Conn.) and senior Katie Ritter (Middlebury, Vt.) of Middlebury and junior Rachel Passarelli (Hamden, Conn.) of Amherst, and a first-time all-conference honoree, senior Abby Hatch (Wilbraham, Mass.) of Colby. Pascal lands on the First Team in back-to-back seasons following a campaign that saw her tally 36 goals, which is fourth-best in the conference, 42 points, 52 draw controls, 26 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers. Ritter, the 2012 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and Second Team All-NESCAC pick, is second among conference players with 25 assists, third with 59 points and tied for fifth with 34 goals. She has also recorded 24 draw controls and 20 ground balls. Passarelli was elevated to the First Team after receiving a Second Team nod in 2014. The junior scored four or more goals in six games this season en route to 42 goals, which ranks third in the league. In addition to her 55 points, she chipped in 20 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers for the Jeffs. Hatch leads the NESCAC with 26 assists, and ranks fifth with 56 points to go along with 30 goals. The senior also notched a team-high 45 draw controls and 18 caused turnovers.
The three attackers selected for the First Team are receiving all-conference accolades for the first time in their respective careers. Junior Moriah Greenstein (Glenmont, N.Y.) of Bates ranks third in the NESCAC in assists (24), fourth in points (58) and tied for fifth in goals (34). Trinity sophomore Clare Lyne (Concord, Mass.) plays a pivotal role in the Bantams’ offensive success, pacing the conference with 60 draw controls. She has also notched 35 points on 23 goals and 12 assists. Junior Caroline Ross (Sewickley, Pa.) of Tufts has provided an offensive punch for the Jumbos, as she ranks second in the league with 64 points and 51 goals, 17 of which are free-position goals. The 2013 NESCAC Rookie of the Year has also accumulated 42 draw controls and 20 ground balls.
Tufts senior Emily Wright (Rye, N.Y.) headlines the list of three defenders to land on the First Team. Wright garnered First Team accolades for the first time, having been named to the Second Team in 2014. She has played a key role in helping the Jumbos advance to their third NESCAC Semifinal appearance in program history, pacing the squad with 43 draw controls and 35 ground balls. Wright has also caused a conference-high 37 turnovers, which is 16 more than the second-best total. For her efforts, she has been selected as the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches.
Middlebury senior Catherine Fowler (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) and Bowdoin senior Natalie Moore (Rye, N.Y.) round out the defensive unit, receiving all-conference plaudits for the first time. Fowler directs a defense that allows just 7.67 goals per game. She has come away with 39 draw controls this season, while scooping up 23 ground balls and causing seven turnovers. Moore anchors a defense that is tied for third in the conference, allowing 7.64 goals per game. She has amassed 15 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers in 15 games for the Polar Bears.
Bates goalie Hannah Jeffrey (Greenwich, Conn.) is a repeat selection on the First Team in the cage. The junior leads conference goalies with 138 saves, and ranks second with a .527 save percentage, while registering a 10.02 goals against average.
Colby defender Jackie Brokaw (Darien, Conn.) and Connecticut College goalie Meg Raskin (Westwood, Mass.) were selected as the NESCAC Co-Rookies of the Year. Brokaw compiled a team-best 29 ground balls in addition to causing 17 turnovers, as she helped the Mules rank second among conference teams in scoring defense, allowing 7.27 goals per game. She is the fourth Colby player to garner the accolade, joining Lindsay McKenna (2011), Kate Sheridan (2006) and Lauren Barrett (2005). Raskin ranks second in the league with 126 saves, tallying ten or more saves in six games, to go along with a .448 save percentage. She is the second Camel to earn the award, joining teammate Hannah Donegan, who received the recognition last year.
Middlebury head coach Missy Foote was selected by her peers as the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the sixth time in her career. Foote, who won the award from 2001-05, has guided the Panthers to an 8-2 conference mark and a 13-2 overall mark. In her 35th and final season at the helm, she has an overall record of 419-112-1 and has led Middlebury to seven NESCAC championships. Her career wins are second all-time among Division III coaches, while she ranks third among coaches throughout all divisions.
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