TOWSON, Md. – The University of Scranton women's soccer team went undefeated in Landmark action once again and wrapped up conference play with a sweep of the major All-Conference awards. Samantha Russo and Erin Casey have been chosen as the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year respectively. Christina Akalski was voted Rookie of the Year and head coach Colleen Murphy and her staff were selected Coaching Staff of the Year.
Russo becomes just the second women's soccer player in Landmark history to earn First Team All-Landmark honors all four years after former teammate Chelsea Paskman did it from 2007-10. The 2010 Rookie of the Year, Russo led the Royals in scoring this season with 10 goals and four assists. She also paced the Landmark in points after racking up five goals and two assists in conference games.
Casey is coming off of Second Team All-Landmark recognition in 2012 to earn First Team and Defensive Player of the Year honors. She anchored the Royals' defense that led the conference in goals against and shutouts. She tallied two regular season game-winning goals and added the game-tying goal in the 89th minute of the Landmark Championship to force overtime.
Akalski stepped in and contributed immediately for Scranton. She started every game as a freshman and scored seven goals with four assists as a midfielder. Akalski notched three game-winning goals against Lebanon Valley, York (Pa.) and Western Connecticut State.
The trio's teammate, Kelsy McAnelly, was named First Team All-Landmark for the second year in a row. The senior goalkeeper finished the regular season with a 0.86 goals against average with six shutouts. She allowed just five goals in six conference games.
Also earning First Team goalkeeper honors is Susquehanna senior Rachel Norbuts. Norbuts was tied for the most saves in the Landmark this season with 97 and boasted a .724 save percentage. She was even better in conference games posting a league-best .780 save percentage.
Drew's dynamic forward duo of Liz Loiodice and Emma Campbell combined to score 27 goals during the regular season to earn First Team honors. Campbell notched five game-winning goals including the difference-maker against conference opponents Catholic and Goucher. Loiodice finished the regular season ranked second in points with 34.
Katie O'Keefe, a Drew midfielder, was named First Team All-Landmark for the third consecutive year. The senior led the Rangers in assists with eight. She added three goals during the regular season, but her biggest may have been the game-winner in double overtime of the Landmark semifinal. Taylor DiSora dominated the Moravian midfield this year. She was a talented playmaker for the Greyhounds and made an impact on the defensive side of the ball as well. DiSora contributed a goal with three assists. Catholic's Alyssa Fiore was another impact freshman in the Landmark this season. She started every game for the Cardinals and dished out eight assists on the way to earning First Team honors.
The First Team defense features Casey along with Catholic's Tricia Colucci and Moravian's Christine Miklas. A team captain, Colucci was the Cardinals' leader on the field and battled to lead the defense. Catholic ranked second in the Landmark in goals against average thanks in part to Colucci's defense. Miklas is known as a tenacious defender who can win balls on defense and still add an attacking presence. She finished second on the team in scoring with six goals for 12 points.
Murphy and her staff were voted Coaching Staff of the Year for the second time in her career. The Royals earned the top seed in the Landmark tournament for the fourth straight season by going 14-2-2 overall and 4-0-2 in conference play. In conference games, Scranton averaged 2.5 goals per game while only allowing 0.78 per game. The Royals recently earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament to give Murphy her fourth appearance in six years at the helm.
Listed below are the 2013 All-Landmark Women's Soccer Teams.
Player of the Year
Player of the Year
|Rookie of the Year||Coach of the Year|
The 2013 Landmark Women's Soccer All-Conference Teams:
|First Team||Second Team|
||Drew||So.||Cresskill, N.J.||Paula Pryor
||Forest Hill, Md.||Kirsten Schall*
||Tinton Falls, N.J.|
||Scranton||Sr.||Yorktown Heights, N.Y.|
||Scranton||Fr.||Long Beach, N.Y.||Alicia Snyder||Juniata
||Easton, Pa.||Ellen Walker
||Hatfield, Pa.||Lillian Dudek
||Rehoboth Beach, Del.||Kiana Lundy
||Boonton Twp, N.J.|
||Fr.||Fanwood, N.J.||Caroline McDowell
||Woodland Park, N.J.|
||Scranton||Sr.||West Chester, Pa.||Goalkeeper|
||So.||River Vale, N.J.|
* 2012 First Team All-Landmark
^ 2011 First Team All-Landmark
# 2010 First Team All-Landmark