Kurash Becomes First Cardinal to Earn Player of the Year Honors
HADLEY, Mass. – Wesleyan forward
Laura Kurash has been selected as the 2012
NESCAC Player of the Year after pouring in a league-best nine goals
during her senior campaign. Kurash accounted for three game-winners
and also scored in her team’s dramatic 2-0 victory over top
seeded Middlebury in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC
Championship. Her 22 points are good for tops in the conference.
Kurash was named to the All-NESCAC First Team for the third
consecutive season after earning Second Team and Rookie of the Year
honors in 2009. She is the first player in program history to
garner Player of the Year accolades.
Forward Scarlett Kirk earned her second straight First Team honor after leading Middlebury to an 8-1-1 mark in league games. The junior is currently tied with Kurash with nine goals, and her 21 points are tied for second among all NESCAC players. The Panthers have earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament and will take part in a First Round game on Saturday. The third forward on this year’s First Team was Amherst junior Amanda Brisco, who collected Second Team honors last fall. The 2010 Rookie of the Year is currently ranked second in the league with eight goals and is tied with Kurash with a league-best 22 points. She will carry six assists into the NCAA Tournament.
Fellow Jeff Kathryn Nathan earned her second consecutive spot on the First Team after earning NESCAC Co-Player of the Year honors last fall. The midfielder has piled up a league-best 11 assists during her senior season. Other First Team midfielders include senior Caitlyn Clark of Williams, junior Aina Torres of Connecticut College and junior Molly Popolizio of Bowdoin. Davies picked up her second All-Conference honor after earning Second Team accolades a year ago, while Torres and Popolizio became first time honorees. Torres led the Camels with nine points on three goals and three assists, while Popolizio led the Polar Bears with 17 points on five goals and seven assists.
The First Team defensive unit features senior Chelsea Davies of Williams, senior Sandy Shepherd of Amherst and sophomore Catharine Greer of Tufts. Davis and Greer were both Second Team selections a year ago, while Greer picked up Rookie of the Year honors. Davies was part of an Eph defense that has allowed just 1.8 goals per game en route to their fifth NESCAC crown in the last six years. She will look to lead her team this weekend when NCAA Tournament play begins. Shepherd started all 15 games for the Lord Jeffs, while Greer started all 14 for the Jumbos.
Middlebury’s Elizabeth Foody was selected as the league’s top goalkeeper. The junior has surrendered just six goals this season and is currently ranked first in the conference in save percentage (.905) and goals against average (.41). She opened the season with six shutouts and a 614:31 scoreless streak.
First year Abbey Lake of Trinity was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year. The forward made an immediate impact for the Bantams, posting 20 points in her collegiate debut. She matched Kurash and Kirk with nine tallies.
Brianne Weaver of Bowdoin and Peter Kim of Middlebury earned a share of NESCAC Coach of the Year honors. In her first season guiding the Polar Bears, Weaver led the team to the NESCAC Finals for the first time since 2007. After advancing past Amherst via penalty kicks in the semifinals, they fell in a shootout to Williams the following day. Bowdoin will be making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Kim was recognized as Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his nine seasons at Middlebury (2004, 2006, 2009, 2012). He owns a career record of 101-36-18.
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