ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Six members of the Southern Vermont College women's soccer team were honored by the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) for their performance in 2018 as announced in the league's Friday release.
Senior midfielder Molly Madore (Higganum, Conn.) and sophomore defender Jayne Wierzbicki (Wilmington, Mass.) were both selected to the All-First Team while junior midfielder Taylor Mallett (Berwick, Maine) landed a spot on the All-Second Team.
SVC senior defender Naya Cerda (West Islip, N.Y.) and freshman midfielder Maddie Gibney (Albany, N.Y.) collected All-Third Team laurels, and senior Vanessa Kendall (Coventry, Conn.) was honored on the Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team.
Madore is finishing a perfect all-conference career as she was named to the First Team in each of her four seasons with Southern Vermont; last year, she became the first player in team history to garner three All-First Team honors. In 2018, the senior captain scored four times and had an assist with one of her goals being a game winner.
"This is a fantastic achievement for Molly," said SVC eighth-year head coach Michael Zauzig. "More than anything, I'm glad that Molly's peers and the coaches in the Conference have recognized her impact in the league. She has been the heart of our team, and we appreciate everything she has done for the program."
Wierzbicki moved to the defense for 2018 and excelled at that end of the pitch after being a midfielder on the 2017 All-NECC Second Team. She still posted three goals and two assists with one of her tallies being a game winner.
"I'm extremely proud of Jayne and what she has accomplished this year," Zauzig said. "She's a player who puts everything into each match. She's become more of a leader this year and wants to do anything she can do to help the team be successful. She has been excellent as a center back, and I'm glad that it was seen by everyone."
Mallett is garnering her third all-NECC honor as she was named to the First Team in '17 after landing on the Second Team in 2016. She had four goals and three assists this year with two of her scores and all of her helpers coming in league play.
"Taylor is the engine in our midfield," Zauzig commented. "She works tirelessly each match and plays box-to-box. I'm really proud that she has added to her skill set and has become more dynamic during matches. Taylor has the ability to change games, and we can't wait to see her in the playoffs."
Cerda is taking home a Third Team accolade for the second-straight year. She was once again solid defensively on a unit that allowed just 1.56 goals per game against league opponents.
"Naya has been a rock for her entire career at SVC, and I'm excited that she got this recognition," said Zauzig. "She controls our back four and is one of the smartest players I have had the pleasure of coaching. She is a big part of our success, and we get the ability to see her quality each day."
Gibney found her groove midway through the year and scored all of her team-leading six goals in league play. She also had two assists in NECC contests to total 14 points in her freshman season. The Mountaineer was named the Conference's Rookie of the Week three times throughout the year.
"Maddie has really come into her own during Conference play," Zauzig said. "She has scored timely goals and has the ability to play in the middle or out wide. She's an intelligent player who truly loves the game. I'm thrilled for her recognition and want her to use this as motivation going forward."
Kendall completed her second season on the field for Southern Vermont in 2018 after she served as a student manager for the first two years of her time at SVC. She appeared in 14 of the Mountaineers' 16 games while making four starts for the squad.
"I'm thrilled that Vanessa was recognized with this award," commented Zauzig. "She is the energy of our team; additionally, she is one of the most thoughtful, caring, and supportive individuals who I have ever met. She brings a positive energy each-and-every day to the team. For her entire career, she has respected her teammates, our opponents, the officials, and—mostly importantly—the game."
Coaches from around the league voted for the all-Conference teams and top accolades after the conclusion of the regular season.
2018 All-NECC Women's Soccer Teams & Major Awards
NECC Player of the Year – McKenna Straube, Lesley (Sr., M, Junction City, Ore.)
NECC Goalkeeper of the Year – Kayla Pugliese, New England College (Sr., Mamaroneck, N.Y.
NECC Rookie of the Year – Sophie Smurthwaite, Lesley (Fr., D., Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Coach of the Year – Paul Vasconcelos, Lesley
All-NECC First Team
F – Lindsey Keith, Becker (Sr., Sutton, Mass.)
F – Jordan Mitchell, Lesley (Sr., Sachse, Texas)
F – Michaela Pomeroy, New England Col. (Sr., Thetford, Vt.)
M – Kelsey Shea, Elms (Sr., Belchertown, Mass.)
M – McKenna Straube, Lesley (Sr., Junction City, Ore.)
M- Emily LePage, New England Col. (Sr., West Greenwich, R.I.)
M – Molly Madore, Southern Vermont (Sr., Higganum, Conn.)
D – Christina Leonardo, Elms (Sr., Enfield, Conn.)
D – Melanie Mathewson, Lesley (Jr., Santa Rosa, Calif.)
D – Jayne Wierzbicki, Southern Vermont (So., Wilmington, Mass.)
GK – Kayla Pugliese, New England Col. (Sr., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
All-NECC Second Team
F – Jai Ruiz, Bay Path (Sr., Hadley, Mass.)
F – Sydney Goodwin, Elms (Fr., Lawrence, Mass.)
F- Samantha Bessey, Lesley (Jr., Algonquin, Ill.)
M- Shannon Kelley, Becker (So., Bellingham, Mass.)
M- Ciara McKissick, Becker (Sr., Charlton, Mass.)
M- Rachel Buckley, Lesley (Sr., San Diego, Calif.)
M- Taylor Mallett, Southern Vermont (Jr., Berwick, Maine)
D – Kyra Harbus, Lesley (Sr., Ventura, Calif.)
D – Dawn Johnson, New England Col. (Sr., Farmingdale, N.Y.)
D – Madison Wheeler, New England Col. (Fr., Benton City, Wash.)
GK – Rebecca Molin, Elms (Jr., West Hartford, Conn.)
All-NECC Third Team
F- Sam Bernardi, Eastern Nazarene (So., Longmeadow, Mass.)
F- Xaelel Allen-Caballero, Lesley (Sr., Henrietta, N.Y.)
F- Bridgette Winters, New England Col. (So., Hillsboro, N.H.)
M- Kyndall Fry, Eastern Nazarene (So., Tampa, Fla.)
M- Gigi Thibault, Elms (Sr., South Hadley, Mass.)
M- Amanda Cardoso, Newbury (Jr., Watertown, Mass.)
M- Maddie Gibney, Southern Vermont (Fr., Albany, N.Y.)
D- Sophie Smurthwaite, Lesley (Fr., Woodland Hills, Calif.)
D- Emilie Nowakowski, New England Col. (Sr., Meriden, Conn.)
D- Naya Cerda, Southern Vermont (Sr., West Islip, N.Y.)
GK- Brittley Gaan, Lesley (Jr. Bellevue, Wash.)
Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team
Jai Ruiz, Bay Path (Jr., Hadley, Mass.)
Rebecca Beringer, Becker (Fr., Waterville, Maine.)
Janyssa Reyes, Dean (Sr., Hyde Park, Mass.)
Michaela Connors, Eastern Nazarene (Jr., Norwell, Mass.)
Sam Manchino, Elms (So., Chicopee, Mass.)
Gabby Vesona, Lesley (Jr., North Attleboro, Mass.)
Jacquelyn White, Mitchell (Sr., Danville, Vt.)
Dawn Johnson, New England Col. (Sr., Farmingdale, N.Y.)
Gabbriella Cuevas, Newbury (Fr., West Valley City, Utah)
Vanessa Kendall, Southern Vermont (Sr., Coventry, Conn.)
– #LetsGoSVC –