Widdall Headlines Field Hockey's A-10 Honorees
Nov. 3, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - Alesha Widdall headlines the list UMass field hockey players honored by the Atlantic 10 when the conference announced its postseason awards on Thursday. The senior goalkeeper was named Defensive Player of the Year, A-10 Academic All-Conference, and was named First Team All-Conference for the fourth year in a row. In all, the Minutewomen collected 11 awards.
UMass claimed four of the 11 spots on the A-10 All-Conference First Team. Widdall was joined by three first-time honorees: freshman defender Lauren Allymohamed, senior midfielder Nikki Panciocco, and junior midfielder Kim Young.
Freshman forward Renee Suter joins Allymohamed on the All-Rookie Team, while Widdall and Young were both named to Academic All-Conference Team.
Widdall, a three-time All-Northeast Region selection and two-time All-American, claims her second Defensive Player of the Year honor. She posted a conference-best 0.66 goals against average in A-10 play, allowing just four goals while going 5-1. For the season, Widdall has recorded four shutouts, giving the NCAA's active minutes-played leader 25 for her career, and has a .778 save percentage.
The Whitney Point, N.Y. native is UMass' first four-time All-Conference performer since Cher King (2006-09) and the program's first four-time first-teamer since the A-10 started announcing multiple teams in 2005.
UMass has claimed the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year award for four years in a row as Widdall succeeds Makaela Potts, who won the honor in 2009 and 2010, after sharing the honor her freshman year with Temple's Mary Catherine Kinneman.
Young leads UMass this season with 13 points on four goals and five assists and has taken a team-high 46 shots and netted two game-winners. Panciocco has eight points on three goals and two assists and also has two game-winning goals. Allymohamed has been a key member of the conference's top defense, has made two defensive saves, and has added an assist on offense.
Cordero has bounced back from a devastating season-ending injury in 2010 to score three goals this season while being contributing mightily to the UMass press. Sikalis, the 2010 A-10 Championship Most Outstanding Player, has four assists on the season and teams with Panciocco and Young to form UMass' stellar midfield line.
Suter joins Allymohamed on the All-Rookie Team. The forward from Millersville, Pa. became a valuable member of the UMass lineup right from the start of the season, playing in all 17 games, starting in 11, and posting two goals and one assist.
Widdall was named to the Academic All-Conference Team for the third year in a row. She was the A-10 Student-Athlete of the Year in 2010, but the conference has announced it is not awarding that honor in any sport in 2011-12. The anthropology major is joined on the team by Young. It is the biochemistry major's first academic honor.
The Minutewomen are the No. 2 seed in this weekend's Atlantic 10 Championship and will face No. 3 seed Temple on Friday at 2 p.m. in the semifinals at Saint Joseph's Ellen Ryan Field.
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