Little East Year-End Soccer Awards: Nine From Eastern Selected All-Conference

Little East Year-End Soccer Awards: Nine From Eastern Selected All-Conference

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Senior midfielder McKenzie Reimondo (Portland) was named to the All-Little East Conference women’s soccer team for the fourth straight season, and highlights a group of nine men’s and women’s selections from Eastern Connecticut State University.

Reimondo, who started all 73 matches in which she appeared in her career, was named to the first team for the third straight season and was among seven selections – equaling the most for Eastern in the 28-year history of the balloting. Joining her on the first team were junior forward Aly Clarke (Mystic) and senior defender Krista Petersen (Wallingford).

Second-team selections for the women included senior defender Michele D’Agata (West Suffield), junior defender Hannah Goodale (Coventry), junior goalkeeper Kayla Labrecque (Westhampton, MA) and sophomore midfielder Linnea Reich (Middletown).

Petersen was named to the second team in 2016, while Clarke, D’Agata, Goodale, and Labrecque were voted to the team for the first time. This year, Petersen was named LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Week twice, Clarke LEC Offensive Player-of-the-Week once, and Labrecque Goalkeeper-of-the-Week once.

For the men, senior midfielder Xavier Doran (Hebron) and junior goalkeeper Ryan Murphy (Cromwell) were each named to the team for the third straight year. Doran is a three-time first-teamer and Murphy repeated first-team recognition after being selected to the second team as a freshman.

Doran becomes the fourth Eastern player in the 39-year history of the men’s soccer awards to be named to the first team as many as three times, following forward Matt Furman (2010-12), defender Aaron Smiles (2009-11) and forward Maxim Fantl (2007-09). Murphy joins Carl Appel (2009-11) as a three-time LEC selectee at the goalkeeper position.

Reimondo enjoys a fourth standout season

An All-New England Region selection last year, Reimondo started all 17 matches in which she appeared this season – missing two to injury – and had a goal and a team-high five assists. She averaged 91.3 minutes per match, and finished her career sharing ninth place all-time with 18 assists.

As a testament to Easten’s lockdown defense, three defenders plus the goalkeeper were named to the All-LEC team.

Petersen (93.9 mpg.) and D’Agata (93.5) were the only players to start all 20 games, missing a total of 30 and 37 minutes, respectively, all season. In seven regular-season LEC games, the Warriors allowed a conference-low three goals and only 23 overall (1.08 GAA) on the season. The defense gave up less than two goals in a match 14 times. Petersen contributed two goals and two assists, D’Agata one assist. Petersen’s game-winning goal came in a 1-0 LEC win at Keene State College Oct. 14

With the loss of all-region forward Emily Becher (Brooklyn) to a season-ending injury halfway through the season, Clarke developed into the team’s top scorer and playmaker, scoring the first ten goals of her three-year collegiate career. Ranked fourth in the conference in goals, Clarke played both midfield and forward, with three of her goals proving to be game-winners. She also had one assist.

A second-year starter in net, Labrecque started 17 matches with a 1.01 goals-against average (second-best in the LEC), .771 save percentage (fifth-best) and four full shutouts (second-most).  In seven LEC regular-season matches, Labrecque had three shutouts, a 0.44 GAA and .900 save percentage. Twice, she made season-highs of 11 saves on the road, in a 1-0 win at Keene State and 1-1 double-overtime draw with Western Connecticut.

Despite massive injuries throughout the year to numerous starters and key reserves that forced 18th-year head coach Chris D’Ambrosio to shuffle his lineup on a continuous basis, Eastern (9-8-3) completed its third straight unbeaten LEC regular-season (6-0-1) – extending its unbeaten mark to 23-0-2 over a four-year period. Eastern was the No. 1 playoff seed for the third straight year, losing in overtime in the championship game. The winning season overall was the 17th in a row under D’Ambrosio. The Warriors never lost as many as two matches in a row after September 13.

A midfielder by trade, Goodale was recognized for her contributions by the LEC after moving to the back position fulltime following the season-ending injury to junior Lauren Valenti (Walpole, MA) in the final month of the season.  After coming off the bench in the first two matches of the year, Goodale started the final 18. As a starting defender over the final six matches of the year, she came off the field only once. A three-year starter who has appeared in all 57 matches – with 54 starts --  Goodale averaged 68.4 minutes per match this year and contributed one goal.

After playing sparingly as a freshman (13 mpg. in nine matches), Reich moved into a fulltime starting role at midfield halfway through the season. Appearing in every game, Reich averaged 67.8 minutes per match, playing the entire match six times.

Doran, Murphy are repeat winners

For the men, Doran was second on the team with eight points (3 goals, 2 assists) after leading the team in assists in each of his first three seasons and in points as a sophomore and junior. Five of his points – the most on the team – came in the team’s seven LEC regular-season matches.

Named All-LEC at forward as a sophomore, Doran started 17 of the team’s 18 matches this year, averaging 81.1 minutes.  In consecutive games, Doran scored the sixth game-winning goal of his career on a penalty kick with 56 seconds left in overtime in a 2-1 win over Babson College, then scored the team’s only goal in an overtime LEC draw with Keene State six days later.

The program’s active leader in goals (18), assists (19) and points (55), Doran ended his career ranked 11th all-time in assists. He missed only two of  a possible 73 matches in his career.

Murphy, named LEC Goalkeeper-of-the-Week once during the season, started every game in the season for the third straight year, playing all but 200 minutes with a a 0.92 GAA,  .844 save percentage, and five shutouts. For the second time in three years, he topped LEC goalkeepers in save percentage and was third this year in GAA.

 Murphy backstopped the Warriors to three straight shutouts to end the season, totaling 253 scoreless minutes over the final four games.  The first of those shutouts came against 2016 LEC champion UMass Boston, with Murphy stopping a season-high ten shutouts in the scoreless overtime draw on the road. Against 2017 LEC playoff champ Western Connecticut, Murphy made five saves in a 1-0 victory.

Heading into his final season, Murphy ranks sixth all-time at Eastern in starts (54), fifth in shutouts (13), and fifth in GAA (0.99).

Eastern (9-7-2, 2-3-2 LEC) finished the season three points shy of the fourth and final LEC playoff berth, missing the tournament for the first time under 11-year head coach Greg DeVito.