Amherst’s Murphy Named Player of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. - Amherst junior midfielder Meg Murphy (Springfield, Mass.) has been selected by the conference coaches as the 2008 NESCAC Player of the Year. Murphy helped the Jeffs post a 7-0-2 mark in conference play along with an appearance in the final of the 2008 NESCAC Women’s Soccer Championship. She is the fourth Amherst player in the last eight years to receive the league’s top honor, the most recent being Amy Armstrong in 2006.
Murphy, who leads her team in scoring for the second year in a row, also received All-Conference First Team recognition for the third-straight season. The junior middie has enjoyed a fruitful fall on the field with a career-best 12 goals and five assists for 29 points through 15 games, nearly double the 15 points she accumulated during her NESCAC Rookie of the Year campaign in 2006. Of Murphy’s 29 overall points, which rank second among all conference players, 21 came in league play as she led the pack with nine goals and three assists in eight outings.
Five of the 11 individuals on the 2008 All-NESCAC First Team represented Williams, the second consecutive year that the Ephs have had five players garner First Team accolades. Four of the five return from the 2007 First Team: Gabrielle Woodson (Plano, Texas), Brianna Wolfson (Brookeville, N.Y.), Caitlin Colesanti (Wycoff, N.J.), and Lauren Sinnenberg (Westfield, N.J.).
The 2007 NESCAC Player of the Year and a Second Team selection in 2006, Woodson has combined with Wolfson to serve as the top two scorers for the Ephs once again this season. Starting all 17 games for Williams, Woodson currently leads the conference in points with 31 on 12 goals and seven assists. The junior Wolfson has kept pace with her senior counterpart, collecting 10 goals and eight assists for third in the NESCAC with 28 points, just two shy of her 2007 totals. Wolfson tallied five goals and an assist during the 2008 NESCAC Women’s Soccer Championship to help Williams become the first program in tournament history to win back-to-back titles.
Senior defender Colesanti and junior goalkeeper Sinnenberg have both played a major role in Williams’ dominant defense, as the Ephs have surrendered a league-low nine goals. Colesanti and the defensive corps has allowed only 13 shots on goal so far this season, less than one shot per game. Of the shots that have gotten through to Sinnenberg, she has stopped .844 percent, second among NESCAC keepers. Sinnenberg (13-0-1) also owns the best goals against average in the conference at 0.50 and has posted seven shutouts (T-1st NESCAC).
Rounding out the Eph contingent on the First Team was midfielder Sara Wild (Portland, Ore.). The sophomore has had a spectacular season on the pitch with seven goals and four assists for 18 points in 17 starts, good enough for third among her teammates and tied for seventh in the NESCAC in scoring. The trio of Wild, Wolfson and Woodson have teamed up for 29 of the Ephs’ league-leading 48 goals.
Joining Woodson and Wolfson at forward on the First Team was Amherst sophomore Kyla Woodhouse (Topsham, Maine). After posting three goals during her rookie season, Woodhouse has emerged as a scoring threat for the Jeffs with seven goals and five assists for 19 points, second only to Murphy on her club.
Complementing Murphy and Wild at midfield were juniors Dana Riker (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) of Bowdoin and Fanna Gamal (Albany, Calif.) from Tufts. A member of the 2007 Second Team, Riker moved up to the 2008 First Team as she started all 16 games for the Polar Bears and tallied four goals. Gamal controlled the Jumbos’ midfield throughout the year while finding a way to add in two goals and three assists in 14 outings.
Middlebury junior defender Anjuli Demers (Dracut, Mass.) and Tufts sophomore back Sarah Nolet (Los Altos, Calif.) complete the 2008 All-Conference First Team. A repeat First Team selection, Demers was part of a Panther defense that ranked second in the conference in goals against average at 0.73 while chipping in an assist. Nolet spent half of the season at midfield before shoring up a banged-up Jumbos defense for the last five games of 2008. The move worked, as Tufts allowed only four goals in its remaining five outings and earned a quarterfinal home contest in the NESCAC Women’s Soccer Championship. For the fall, Nolet started all 14 matches and contributed three tallies and three assists.
Rookie of the Year honors went to Trinity first year forward Jenny Ley (Warwick, R.I.). Ley was tops among conference rookies and fourth among all players in overall scoring, leading the Bantams with 24 points on an even eight goals and eight assists. She was also named to the All-Conference Second Team.
Michelyne Pinard of Williams was the choice among the coaches and received NESCAC Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. Pinard, who earned the honor for the first time in her seven-year career last autumn, guided the Ephs to their second consecutive conference crown last weekend and third in program history. Williams is a combined 33-1-1 over the last two seasons under Pinard’s tutelage.
2008 NESCAC Women’s Soccer All-Conference
|F||Brianna Wolfson||Williams||Jr.||Brookville, N.Y.|
|F||Kyla Woodhouse||Amherst||So.||Topsham, Maine|
|F||Gabrielle Woodson||Williams||Sr.||Plano, Texas|
|M||Fanna Gamal||Tufts||Jr.||Albany, Calif.|
|M||Meg Murphy||Amherst||Jr.||Springfield, Mass.|
|M||Dana Riker||Bowdoin||Jr.||Cape Elizabeth, Maine|
|M||Sara Wild||Williams||So.||Portland, Ore.|
|D||Caitlin Colesanti||Williams||Sr.||Wyckoff, N.J.|
|D||Sarah Nolet||Tufts||So.||Los Altos, Calif.|
|GK||Lauren Sinnenberg||Williams||Jr.||Westfield, N.J.|
|F||Ellery Gould||Bowdoin||Fy.||East Sandwich, Mass.|
|F||Leigh Howard||Trinity||Fy.||Bethany, Conn.|
|F||Jenny Ley||Trinity||Fy.||Warwick, R.I.|
|F||Cait Parker||Middlebury||Sr.||Seattle, Wash.|
|M||Alanna Darling||Amherst||Sr.||Charlton, Mass.|
|M||Lindsay Rotherham||Middlebury||Sr.||Bozeman, Mont.|
|M||Taylor Stevenson||Wesleyan||Jr.||Glastonbury, Conn.|
|D||Su-Lin Del Guercio||Colby||So.||Parsippany, N.J.|
|D||Kara Duggan||Williams||So.||Poway, Calif.|
|D||Kate Moriarty||Amherst||Sr.||Westminster, Mass.|
|GK||Allie Horwitz||Amherst||Fy.||Woodbridge, Conn.|
|Player of the Year|
|Rookie of the Year|
|Coach of the Year|