Williams’ Wolfson Earns Player of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. – Senior forward Brianna Wolfson (Brookville, N.Y.) of Williams has been chosen by the conference coaches as the 2009 NESCAC Player of the Year. Wolfson assisted her Eph squad in putting together the program’s third perfect season this decade (2001, 2007) along with winning the NESCAC Women’s Soccer Championship for the third-straight year. She is the second Williams player in the past three years to win the conference’s top honor, after Gabrielle Woodson became the first Eph since 1999 to earn Player of the Year in the fall of 2007.
In addition to being named Player of the Year, Wolfson garnered All-NESCAC First Team recognition for the third consecutive year, as 10 of the 11-members on the 2009 First Team received All-Conference in some form in 2008. While Wolfson’s offensive production has been down from previous seasons due to injury, she has still managed to score four goals and chip in eight assists through 16 appearances. Heading into this weekend’s NCAA Tournament action, Wolfson has 89 career points on 30 goals - 11 of which have served as the game-winner - and 29 assists.
Moving up from last year’s Second Team were sophomore forwards Ellery Gould (Sandwich, Mass.) of Bowdoin and Leigh Howard (Bethany, Conn.) of Trinity, both of whom finished tied for third in overall points among league players with 26. Gould led the Polar Bears in scoring for the second year in a row with 12 goals and two assists while Howard paced the Bantams with 10 goals and six assists. Of Gould’s 12 tallies, seven came in conference play, more than anyone else this season.
All four midfielders from the 2008 First Team returned to the conference’s top squad this autumn. Amherst senior Meg Murphy (Springfield, Mass.) achieved a rare feat as she was selected to the First Team for the fourth time in her career. The 2008 Player of the Year and the 2006 Rookie of the Year, Murphy sits atop the Jeffs’ stat sheet for the third consecutive season with five goals and six assists for 16 points. Tufts senior Fanna Gamal (Albany, Calif.) collected a goal and two assists during her final season and finished her tenure having played in 62 out of the Jumbos’ 63 matches. Bowdoin senior Dana Riker (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), a Second Team honoree in 2007, finished second behind Gould for the Polar Bears with four goals and three assists for 11 points. Junior Sara Wild (Portland, Ore.) of Williams has been one of only three individuals to start every game this season for the Ephs. Wild is fifth among her teammates in points with 15 on six goals and three assists.
Middlebury senior defender Anjuli Demers (Dracut, Mass.) found a spot on the First Team for the third time in as many years. Demers’ speed, technical ability, and leadership have anchored a back line that has recorded 10 shutouts (2nd NESCAC) and a goals against average of 0.78. She also scored her first career goal this season. Returning with Demers from the 2008 First Team was Tufts junior Sarah Nolet (Los Altos, Calif.). One of the best overall players for the Jumbos this season, Nolet was a dominant force in the back and excelled on one-on-one situations. Nolet also had an offensive component to her game, as she ranked fourth for Tufts in scoring with seven points on three goals and an assist. Williams junior Kara Duggan (Poway, Calif.) came away with First Team accolades for the first time after she was named to the Second Team last year. Duggan has been a key element for an Ephs defense that has given up just seven goals while also scoring three of her own.
Junior goalkeeper Lauryn Torch (Bronxville, N.Y.) of Middlebury completed the 2009 NESCAC All-Conference First Team. Playing nearly every minute this season in net for the Panthers, Torch owns a 12-3-2 record with a 0.82 goals against average, an .844 save percentage, and a league-leading eight shutouts.
Wesleyan first year forward Laura Kurash (Voorhees, N.J.) was selected by the coaches as the Rookie of the Year. Although she missed more than half of the season due to injury, Kurash, a smart and skilled attacker, still managed to lead the Cardinals in scoring with six goals, including three game-winners, and three assists for 15 points. Kurash also found a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Team.
Coach of the Year honors were shared for the first time this decade by Middlebury’s Peter Kim and Williams’ Michelyne Pinard. Kim and Pinard have combined to earn the league’s coaching award in five of the last six years, as Kim was selected by his peers in 2004 and again in 2006 while Pinard has received top honors in each of the previous two years. In his sixth season with the Panthers, Kim guided his program back to the NESCAC final for the first time since 2006 along with a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Pinard, in the midst of her eighth season with the Ephs, earned her 100th career victory at Williams with Sunday’s championship-clinching victory over Middlebury.
2009 NESCAC Women’s Soccer All-Conference
|F||Ellery Gould||Bowdoin||So.||East Sandwich, Mass.|
|F||Leigh Howard||Trinity||So.||Bethany, Conn.|
|F||Brianna Wolfson||Williams||Sr.||Brookville, N.Y.|
|M||Fanna Gamal||Tufts||Sr.||Albany, Calif.|
|M||Meg Murphy||Amherst||Sr.||Springfield, Mass.|
|M||Dana Riker||Bowdoin||Sr.||Cape Elizabeth, Maine|
|M||Sara Wild||Williams||Jr.||Portland, Ore.|
|D||Anjuli Demers||Middlebury||Sr.||Dracut, Mass.|
|D||Kara Duggan||Williams||Jr.||Poway, Calif.|
|D||Sarah Nolet||Tufts||Jr.||Los Altos, Calif.|
|GK||Lauryn Torch||Middlebury||Jr.||Bronxville, N.Y.|
|F||Laura Kurash||Wesleyan||Fy.||Voorhees, N.J.|
|F||Annie Rowell||Middlebury||Jr.||Craftsbury, Vt.|
|F||Annelise Snyder||Williams||Jr.||Ashby, Mass.|
|F||Sarah Walmsley||Williams||Sr.||Pelham Manor, N.Y.|
|M||Margaret Owen||Middlebury||Sr.||Bozeman, Mont.|
|M||Taylor Stevenson||Wesleyan||Sr.||Glastonbury, Conn.|
|M||Lindsay Walker||Middlebury||Sr.||Ridgewood, N.J.|
|D||Tiernan Cutler||Bowdoin||Jr.||Sacramento, Calif.|
|D||Su-Lin Del Guercio||Colby||Jr.||Parsippany, N.J.|
|D||Jenny Galgano||Middlebury||Sr.||Wyckoff, N.J.|
|Player of the Year|
|Rookie of the Year|
|Co-Coaches of the Year|