WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Senior defender Katie Calnen (Granby) was named to the first team as one of six Eastern Connecticut State University All-Little East Conference selections, and first-year sophomore midfielder Tristan Kijak (Windsor) was named Rookie-of-the-Year in the season-ending awards program, announced today.
A three-year starter, Calnen represented Eastern on the first team while Kijak, who played soccer at Union College in 2016, was voted as the program’s second Rookie-of-the-Year in three years. Kijak was joined from Eastern on the second team by senior attack Katie Burke (South Windsor), senior defender Taylor Behn (Amherst, NH), junior midfielder Michelina Pinto (Groton) and sophomore attack Alyssa Powers (Ellington).
No program in the seven-team conference had more than Eastern’s six all-conference selections. Regular-season and playoff champion Plymouth State University also had six picks – four of them first-teamers – and also annexed the four other major awards (Offensive, Defensive and Midfielder and Coach-of-the-Year). All seven conference teams had at least one all-conference selection.
Behn, Burke and Pinto were all voted to the team for the second time, all previous second-teamers. Behn and Pinto were previously recognized in 2016 – when Pinto was named Rookie-of-the-Year – and Burke last year.
Calnen set personal season highs this year in caused turnovers (37) and ground balls (58) -- leading the team in both categories -- and currently placing second and fifth, respectively, in the LEC in those categories. Her caused turnover total rates in a tie for fifth in a season at Eastern.
Kijak was named LEC Rookie-of-the-Week three straight weeks in April, when the Warriors won seven of eight matches. Kijak started all 18 matches for the Warriors and finished second on the team in ground balls (54), draw controls (39) and caused turnovers (34), currently ranking third in the conference in caused turnovers and sixth in ground balls. She also chipped in 31 goals and seven assists and led the team with 17 free-position goals and a 77.3 success rate on 22 free-position tries.
Burke led Eastern in points and assists for the third straight season, currently ranking fifth this season in the LEC with 26 assists. She also contributed 29 goals and topped the club with 55 points. Burke leaves the program as one of three players in program history with at least 100 assists. She is second all-time in assists (107), fourth in points (211) and 17th in goals (104).
Pinto led the Warriors this year in goals (39) and was second to Burke in points (54), currently ranking in a tie for 11th in the LEC in the latter category. She enters her final season ranked tenth all-time in assists (45), 13th in points (158) and 14th in goals (113).
Behn, who started all possible 54 matches in three seasons after transferring from the University at Albany, was third on the team this year in ground balls (45) and third in caused turnovers (20).
Powers set personal season-highs this year in goals (38), assists (9) and points (47). She was second on the team by one in goals and third on the team in points. In a 17-15 win over Keene State College in the LEC semifinals, Powers had career-highs of six goals and seven points.
With an 11-7 overall record, Eastern had double-figure wins for the third straight season and its 5-1 record in the conference regular season gave it a 16-2 mark in LEC regular-season play over the last three years.
|Taylor Behn||Sr.||Defense||Second||Amherst, NH|
|Katie Burke||Sr.||Attack||Second||South Windsor|