ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The NECC announced its 2018 Women’s Lacrosse All-Conference teams and major award winners on Tuesday morning. The awards were voted on by the conference’s eight coaches following the conclusion of the regular season. Seven of the eight conference schools are represented on the all-conference teams, with Wheelock College and Elms College leading the way with seven and six honorees, respectively.
Elms attack Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.) was voted the 2018 NECC Player of the Year. Bay Path University’s Kristina Tran (Agawam, Mass.) was named Goalkeeper of the Year, while Southern Vermont College's Alex Safford (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) earned Rookie of the Year honors. Elms head coach Rosa Riccobono was voted Coach of the Year.
Joining Player of the Year Haley Richard in the first team midfield slot is her teammate Jackie Soucia (Belchertown Mass.), Bay Path’s Kaylee Herring (Worcester, Vt.) and Wheelock’s Colleen Macdonald (Sandwich, Mass.). Rookie of the Year, Alex Safford, leads the first team attack selections, along with fellow newcomer Venezia Delgadillo (Sharon, Mass.) of Newbury College. Rounding out the first team attacks is Vanessa Vurno (Salem, Conn.) of Elms and Georgia Schindele (Sparkill, N.Y.) of Wheelock. Schindele’s teammate, Katie Frade (Dartmouth, Mass.) joins her on the first team as a defender, along with Francesca Pinard (Arlington, Mass.) of Mitchell College, and Juliena D’Alessio (Berlin, N.Y.) from Southern Vermont. Goalkeeper of the Year, Kristina Tran, is the first team goalkeeper selection.
The second team features two Wheelock midfielders, Alexandra Clark (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) and Alexah Mellis (East Longmeadow, Mass.), along with Mitchell midfielder Kate McCormack (Narragansett, R.I.) and Newbury’s Hannah Gorham (Lyman, Maine). Gorham’s teammate Sophia Kiasi (Yorba Linda, Calif.) joins her on the second team as an attack, along with Bay Path’s Samantha Rubacha (Feeding Hills, Mass.), Elms’ Alecia Keesee (Westfield, Mass.) and Wheelock’s Ashley Eppolito (Nashua, N.H.). Elms fills two of the three defender slots, as Erienne Dowe (Somers, Conn.) and Madison Jung (Stafford Springs, Conn.) were honored. Wheelock's Rachel Danis (Underhill, Vt.) fills the third defender spot. Becker College's Nikolle Storey (Cumberland, Maine) closes out the second team at the goalkeeper postion.
NECC Player of the Year – Haley Richard, Elms (So., M, Monson, Mass.)
In her sophomore campaign, Richard led the Blazers to an undefeated 7-0 regular season conference record (10-8 overall), and the No. 1 seed in the 2018 NECC Tournament. Elms would go on to win their program’s first NECC Championship, and Richard would be named to the All-Tournament team for her play. Overall, Richard is tied for the league lead in goals with 60, and is second in points with 79. Her 19 assists are also good for third in the conference. Richard was a one-time 2018 NECC Player of the Week selection (week ending 4/29/18).
NECC Goalkeeper of the Year – Kristina Tran, Bay Path (So., G, Agawam, Mass.)
Kristina Tran played 660:00 minutes in goal for the Wildcats, 420:00 of them coming in conference play. Her 110 saves in conference play leads the league, as does her 52.6 save percentage. Overall, Tran boasts a 50.7 save percentage, which is also tops in the conference, and has 170 total saves, good for second in the league. In eleven games, Tran only allowed 165 goals, which is top five in the league.
NECC Rookie of the Year – Alex Safford, Southern Vermont (Fr., A, Burnt Hills, N.Y.)
Freshman Alex Safford was an integral part in Southern Vermont’s success in conference, helping the Mountaineers to a 5-3 conference record, and the No. 3 seed in the NECC Championship. Southern Vermont reached the semifinals, for which Safford was named to the All-Tournament team. She is tops in the league among rookies in goals (55) and points (60). Her 55 goals are third in the conference overall, while her point total is top five in the conference. She earned NECC Player of the Week honors once (week ending 4/15/18) and NECC Rookie of the Week honors twice (weeks ending 4/8/18 and 4/15/18).
Coach of the Year – Rosa Riccobono, Elms
In her first season at Elms, Riccobono led the Blazers to a 10-8 overall record, including an undefeated conference record of 7-0. She would lead Elms to the program's first NECC Championship victory. Her squad led the league in goals (214), assists (121), and shooting percentage (45.6) This is her first NECC Coach of the Year selection.
First Team All-NECC
A – Vanessa Vurno, Elms (Jr., Salem, Conn.)
A – Venezia Delgadillo, Newbury (Fr., Sharon, Mass.)
A – Alex Safford, Southern Vermont (Fr., Burnt Hills, N.Y.)
A – Georgia Schindele, Wheelock (Jr., Sparkill, N.Y.)
M – Kaylee Herring, Bay Path (Sr., Worcester, Vt.)
M- Haley Richard, Elms (So., Monson, Mass.)
M – Jackie Soucia, Elms (Sr., Belchertown, Mass.)
M- Colleen Macdonald, Wheelock (Jr., Sandwich, Mass.)
D – Francesca Pinard, Mitchell (Jr., Arlington, Mass.)
D – Juliena D’Alessio, Southern Vermont (So., Berlin, N.Y.)
D – Katie Frade, Wheelock (Sr., Dartmouth, Mass.)
GK – Kristina Tran, Bay Path (So., Agawam, Mass.)
Second Team All-NECC
A- Samantha Rubacha, Bay Path (Fr., Feeding Hills, Mass.)
A- Alecia Keesee, Elms (So., Westfield, Mass.)
A- Sophia Kiasi, Newbury (Fr., Yorba Linda, Calif.)
A- Ashley Eppolito, Wheelock (Fr., Nashua, N.H.)
M- Kate McCormack, Mitchell (Jr., Narragansett, R.I.)
M- Hannah Gorham, Newbury (Fr., Lyman, Maine)
M- Alexandra Clark, Wheelock (Sr., Oak Bluffs, Mass.)
M- Alexah Mellis, Wheelock (Jr., East Longmeadow, Mass.)
D – Erienne Dowe, Elms (Fr., Somers, Conn.)
D – Madison Jung, Elms (Sr., Stafford Springs, Conn.)
D – Rachel Danis, Wheelock (Sr., Underhill, Vt.)
GK – Nikolle Storey, Becker (Jr., Cumberland, Maine)
All-NECC Sportsmanship Team
Jo Orrick, Bay Path (Jr., M, Belden, Miss.)
Gabrielle Tucker, Becker (So., D, Grafton, Mass.)
Genesis Johnson, Dean (Fr., M, Norwalk, Conn.)
Madison Crawford, Elms (Sr., A, Bennington, Vt.)
Hannah Corrigan, Mitchell (Fr., A/M, Fairfax, Vt.)
Sophia Kiasi, Newbury (Fr., A, Yorba Linda, Calif.)
Meagan McSweeney, Southern Vermont (Sr., A, Falmouth, Mass.)
Keeghan Hughes, Wheelock (Jr., M, Ipswich, Mass.)