NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA -Eight members of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team have been honored by the Little East Conference.
Senior forward Erica Allan (Amherst, MA/Amherst HS), senior midfielder Jenna Miedzionowski (Beverly, MA/Hamilton-Wenham Regional HS) and senior defender Taryn Cardiel (Moorpark, CA/Moorpark HS) were named first team All-Little East Conference. Junior midfielder Devon Herlihy (Stratham, NH/Exeter HS), junior goalkeeper Lauren O'Brien (Rochester, MA/Old Rochester Regional HS) and freshman forward Cory Connolly (Duxbury, MA/Duxbury HS) earned second team All-Conference honors, while junior defender Victoria Dolce (Jamestown, RI/North Kingstown HS) was named third team All-LEC. Connolly was named Rookie of the Year, Cardiel was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Head Coach Nicole Castonguay was named Coach of the Year.
"I'm excited, and I'm very happy with the way this season has turned out," said Castonguay. "Taryn has been a standout here from year one, and being a defensive player, you don't always get the recognition and awards that you deserve. We changed our defense when Taryn came on board in 2009. I'm really happy she was recognized this year, between being named All-Conference and getting to play in the Senior Game, she is getting what she deserved."
"Jenna is one of those players who has been all about this program, she lives for this game and for this team," Castonguay continued. "During her freshman year, she knew she wanted to perform at a high level. She always wants to help with recruiting and put together indoor teams in the winter. She was always willing and able to play either defense or midfield, and has played just about every position on the field. It's nice to see her recognized."
"Erica is strong, and she is fearless," Castonguay added. "She plays much bigger than her size. We are 15th in the nation in corners caused, and she has contributed to at least 80 per cent of them. She is strong on the ball, quick, and always wants the ball on the last play of the game."
"Devin is capable of shutting down the top players in the country," said Castonguay. "When we played against Clark, she held down the number two scorer in the country, and she held Bridgewater's top scorer to one goal. She plays with a pure defensive mindset, she denies the ball and then gets rid of it. I would put her up against anyone."
"Lauren would go througb a wall for her teammates," Castonguay said. "They are best friends and she wanted to win this big time. She had tears of joy when we won the LEC. It's nice to see her shine and have so many shutouts."
"Tori, who is our only junior captain, has an amazing work ethic," said Castonguay."There isn't any time that she goes through the motions, she is always working hard, trying to improve, and she remains accountable at a high level. She is sold defensively, has made an impact since her freshman year, and she really is a big game player, having scored two of the game-winning goals in the tournament."
"We worked hard on our freshman recruiting class, and I knew Cory would be an impact player, and would get playing time," Castonguay added. "She stepped up in a big way when we found out that Eleanor (Taylor) would be out for the season."
UMass Dartmouth Director of Athletics Ian Day praised Castonguay. "Each year Nicole elevates the program to new levels," said Day. "She runs the perfect program: successful, respected and one in which the student- athletes really enjoy the experience."
UMASS DARTMOUTH FIELD HOCKEY