Five Lyons Claim NFHCA All-Region Honors
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Nov. 17, 2011) – Mount Holyoke College seniors Shara Robertson, Tricia Chase, Katie Gibson, Taylor Hedges and Jess Fajardo have earned NFHCA All-Region accolades as a result of their outstanding play this fall. All five players were instrumental in leading the Lyons to a share of the NEWMAC Regular Season Championship and their second ECAC New England Championship.
Robertson and Chase were named to the First Team, while Gibson, Hedges and Fajardo earned Second Team honors. The NFHCA honored 192 players nationally. Thirty-two recipients were selected to represent the New England East Region.
No stranger to postseason recognition, Robertson grabbed NFHCA All-Region honors for the third year in a row. She was placed on the First Team for the second straight year after earning Second Team accolades as a sophomore. Arguably the top offensive player in program history, Robertson racked up 159 points on 67 goals and 25 assists over her four seasons in South Hadley. She will graduate as the program's all-time leader in career points and goals.
Gifted with great speed, a tenacious work ethic and excellent moves, she continually found a way to put the ball in the cage despite constant pressure. In 72 career matches, she piled up eight hat tricks and 11 winners. The forward was at her best in the Lyons' 16-1 triumph over Elms College during her rookie campaign, when she exploded for nine points on four goals and an assist (09/28/09). Her point and goal totals both tied previous school records held by Bridget Gunn '95 and Krista Lindquist '02, respectively.
Robertson was particularly impressive this season, recording program records for points (68), goals (25) and assists (18). The forward notched hat tricks in wins over Regis College (09/09/11) and Smith College (09/17/11). Her three assists in a 5-3 triumph over Wellesley College were a career high (09/24/11) and helped her secure the NEWMAC Player of the Week Award honors for the second time in her career.
Robertson was named Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Tournament over the weekend after leading Mount Holyoke to a 4-2 triumph over Plymouth State University in the championship. She racked up 13 points on five goals and three assists over the course of the tournament.
In 2008, Robertson became just the second player in program history to claim NEWMAC Rookie of the Year accolades. One year later, she was placed on the NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team. The forward went on to earn All-Conference First Team honors in her final two seasons with the Lyons.
Like Robertson, Chase also earned NFHCA All-Region recognition for the third season in a row. After grabbing Second Team honors last fall, she returned to the First Team this year. The senior was among the national leaders in defensive saves with eight. She also chipped in with two goals and five assists this year.
Chase was an anchor in Mount Holyoke's defensive backfield for the past four years and served as a captain for her final two seasons in blue and white. She was an aggressive work horse, who left it on the field each time out. An outstanding athlete, she served as the Lyons' general on the field throughout her career. In addition to being her team's top defenders, she also became a go to player on the offensive side of the ball. Her great one-on-one moves and lethal reverse stick sweep made her a top threat on corner chances.
In 70 career matches, Chase delivered eight goals, 15 assists and 20 defensive saves. Her three defensive saves at Amherst College during her sophomore season were a career high (09/30/09). After scoring the lone goal in Mount Holyoke's season opening win over Washington last fall (09/05/10), she racked up a career best three points on a goal and an assist in her team's 5-0 triumph over Simmons later that week (09/11/11).
Chase was a NEWMAC All-Conference performer in each of her last three seasons at Mount Holyoke. After earning First Team honors as a sophomore, she battled through a variety of injuries to make the Second Team last fall. This year, she returned to the First Team. Chase was named NEWMAC Player of the Week for the second time in her career on October 10.
Gibson was voted to the NFHCA All-Region Second Team for the second season in a row. The senior was outstanding between the pipes for the Lyons all season long. In addition to leading all NEWMAC starters with a goals against average of 1.26 and a save percentage of .799, she also piled up five shutouts. Gibson surrendered just 27 goals en route to an overall record of 16-5 in nearly 1,500 minutes played. She came up with a season-best 17 saves in Mount Holyoke's thrilling 2-1 triumph over Castleton State College (09/10/11). That performance helped her land NEWMAC Player of the Week honors for the first time. She also earned the award after allowing just one goal in wins over WPI (10/18/11) and Clark University (10/22/11).
Despite her quiet demeanor, Gibson developed into one of the top goalkeepers in the region. She consistently made the most difficult saves look easy and could always be counted on to keep the Lyons in each of their matches. The senior had great anticipation, routinely made point blank saves and had the ability to stop one-on-one chances.
Gibson was one of Mount Holyoke's most improved players since joining the program three seasons ago. Her career goals against average of 1.44 is the second best in program history. Over the course of her career, she came up with 10 saves or more on 11 occasions, and her 18 stops in the Lyons' thrilling 2-1 triumph over Springfield College during her sophomore year were a career high (10/13/09). Gibson spent over 4,000 minutes protecting her team's cage. Her 17 shutouts during that time are the second most in school history.
Gibson was voted to the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team this year after claiming Second Team honors as a junior.
One year after earning a spot on the NFHCA All-Region First Team, Hedges secured Second Team honors this year. She dished out assists in wins over Wellesley College (09/24/11), WPI (10/18/11) and Babson College (11/05/11). The midfielder was particularly impressive on the defensive end in Mount Holyoke's heartbreaking 2-1 overtime setback to MIT in the NEWMAC Championship earlier this month (11/06/11).
Hedges was one of her team's top playmakers from the midfield for the last four seasons. Armed with excellent stick skills, she consistently eluded defenders and set up her teammates with open shots over the course of her career. She served as a captain this year.
The midfielder appeared in and started 70 matches for the Lyons, dishing out 13 assists in the process. She was at her best during her junior year, when she racked up seven helpers.
Hedges was a NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team performer in 2009 and 2010.
Joining Gibson and Hedges on the NFHCA All-Region Second Team was Fajardo. After serving as a role player in the early stages of her career, she became one of Mount Holyoke's most feared offensive weapons this season. Of her 28 career goals, 16 came this fall. Though she did her best work in the trenches, tipping in shots from close range, she also became dangerous in the open field. Over her 70 career matches, she dished out eight assists.
Fajardo exploded out of the gate in 2011, recording her first collegiate hat trick in a 12-1 triumph over Regis College (09/08/11). She also found the back of the cage two times in wins over Smith College (09/17/11) and Babson College (10/08/11) earlier this year. Her winner against Babson was the fourth of her career. The forward tacked on two more tallies in her team's 7-2 triumph over Babson in the NEWMAC Semifinals (11/05/11). In addition to her impressive work in the circle, Fajardo was also Mount Holyoke's top defensive forward as a senior.
Mount Holyoke put the finishing touches on one of its most memorable seasons on Sunday, when it topped Plymouth State University 4-2 in the ECAC Championship. The Lyons closed out their 2011 campaign with an overall record of 16-5. They went 6-2 in league play to secure a share of the NEWMAC Regular Season Championship. Their 244 points, 92 goals and 60 assists were all the most in program history for a single season.
2011 NFHCA Division III New England East All-Region Teams
First Team All-Region
Emily Asack, Wheaton College
Anneliese Brosch, Babson College
Tricia Chase, Mount Holyoke College
Casey Clark, University of New England
Molly Duffy, MIT
Meaghan Johnson, St. Joseph's College
Kami Klauber, MIT
Morgan Lockwood, Babson College
Taylor Matties, Endicott College
Molly McShane, MIT
Mel Melkonian, Clark University
Rachel Preusser, Castleton State College
Shara Robertson, Mount Holyoke College
Hannah Tavella, University of New England
Anna Teruya, MIT
Sabrina Vaillancourt, Husson University
Second Team All-Region
Mariah Arno, Husson University
Kimberly Barker, MIT
Bonnie Davies, Wheaton College (MA)
Jess Fajardo, Mount Holyoke College
Kelly Gallo, Springfield College
Katie Gibson, Mount Holyoke College
Nathalie Gruet, Wellesley College
Taylor Hedges, Mount Holyoke College
Meghan Leary, Endicott College
Emily Lewis, Wellesley College
Michelle Oswald, University of New England
Whitney Reid, Wellesley College
Emily Sawchuck, Endicott College
Kayla Sokol, Springfield College
Taylor Texiera, Endicott College
Maddy Wharton, MIT