Cambridge, Mass. - University at Albany had a program-best five players who were voted to the 2009 America East All-Conference Women's Soccer Teams, as announced on Wednesday, Oct. 28 by the league office. Head coach Mary-Frances Monroe and assistants Kristin Shaw and Geneva Sills were named the America East co-coaching staff of the year. Freshman forward Chelsea DeVerna was recognized as the conference's rookie of the year.
In addition to Chelsea DeVerna, freshman midfielder Maggie DeVerna, sophomore midfielder Rebecca Lee, freshman defender Casey Marks and senior forward Ashley Tirabassi were each named to the all-conference second team. The group are the first Great Danes to earn the all-league honors since Sara Rickard was selected in 2003. Marks and the DeVerna twins were also named to the America East All-Rookie Team.
Monroe and her staff have led the conference's youngest team, which features two veteran starters, to its highest single-season win total since 1988 and first-ever berth in the America East postseason tournament. The Great Danes, who consistently play nine or 10 freshmen and sophomores, won three America East matches for the first time. The squad has also posted seven shutout victories, the most in more than 20 years.
Chelsea DeVerna is the second Great Dane in three seasons to be named the league's rookie of the year. She leads the team and all America East freshmen in scoring with six goals and three assists for 15 points. Her first career tally was the golden goal in a 1-0 double-overtime victory at Massachusetts, and she also scored the game winner in a 1-0 road triumph at New Hampshire. The freshman was named the league's rookie of the week on Sept. 14 after recording two goals and two assists in three matches.
Maggie DeVerna started the season as a forward, but moved back to control a midfield which has helped the Great Danes attempt 16.72 shots per game. She scored the team's first goal of the season against Pacific, one of the top teams in the Big West Conference, and added an assist versus Temple.
Lee is being recognized by the conference for the second straight season after garnering all-rookie team honors as a freshman. Along with Maggie DeVerna, she is also a leader on a midfield which helped create the second-highest number of scoring opportunities in the conference for the strikers. Lee netted a goal against Temple and set up both UAlbany tallies in a 2-0 victory over Stony Brook.
Marks has anchored a back line which allowed just 1.22 goals per game this season and blanked seven opponents, including three America East teams. The mark betters the Division I standard of allowing 2.00 goals per game in 2007. She also added offensive punch for the Great Danes, most notably setting up Chelsea DeVerna's game-winning goal in double overtime against the Minutewomen.
Tirabassi, who has six goals and one assist this fall, broke the school record for career points, a standard that had stood unchallenged for 26 years, in a 1-0 victory over Niagara. She was named the America East player of the week for a second time season after setting the program mark for career goals in a 1-0 win over UMBC. The senior co-captain currently has upped her career totals to 19 goals and eight assists for 46 points.
UAlbany (8-9-1) will make its first-ever appearance in the America East Conference Women's Soccer Championship as the fifth seed. In a first-round match, UAlbany will visit Stony Brook on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
2009 America East Women's Soccer All-Conference Teams
First Team: Mandi Casares, Binghamton; Casey Brown, Boston U.; Shauna Kelleher, Boston U.; Jessica Luschinski, Boston U.; Farrell McClernon, Boston U.; Emily Pallotta, Boston U.; Janie Reilly, Boston U.; Becky Flowers, Hartford; Anjelica Hodgson, Maine; Laura Martel, Maine; Alex Teti, Stony Brook.
Second Team: Chelsea DeVerna, UAlbany; Maggie DeVerna, UAlbany; Rebecca Lee, UAlbany; Casey Marks, UAlbany; Ashley Tirabassi, UAlbany; Mara Osher, Boston U.; Christina Di Ielsi, Maine; Shaunna Kaplan, New Hampshire; Monique Lamotte, New Hampshire; Kelly Mooney, New Hampshire; Marisa Viola, Stony Brook.
All-Rookie Team: Chelsea DeVerna, UAlbany; Maggie DeVerna, UAlbany; Casey Marks, UAlbany; Jamie Holliday, Binghamton; Emily Pape, Binghamton; Megan McGoldrick, Boston U.; Caitlin Alves, Hartford; Meagan Price-Leibenzeder, Maine; Monique Lamotte, New Hampshire; Sa'sha Kershaw, Stony Brook; Tara Schoenbeck, Stony Brook; Jessica Herbst, Vermont.
Striker of the Year: Laura Martel, Maine.
Midfielder of the Year: Emily Pallotta, Boston U.
Defender of the Year: Casey Brown, Boston U.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Janie Reilly, Boston U.
Rookie of the Year: Chelsea DeVerna, UAlbany
Co-Coaching Staff of the Year: Mary-Frances Monroe, UAlbany; Nancy Feldman, Boston U
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information