Five Amherst Players Earn All-NESCAC Honors; Dier, Hanlon Named to First Team

First-year Courtney Hanlon has had a dominant rookie season for the Lord Jeffs. 

AMHERST, MA – The NESCAC announced today the members of the 2007-08 Women’s Ice Hockey All-Conference Team, with Amherst College earning five of the 12 spots—the most among the NESCAC schools. The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday, Mar. 8 for a NESCAC semifinal match-up with Trinity College. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Middlebury College. 

The only returning member from last winter’s First Team was Amherst sophomore defender Kirsten Dier (Appleton, WI). Through 25 games so far this season, Dier has contributed three goals and 11 assists for 14 points, tops among Jeff defenders and fourth among the league’s blue liners. Dier provides strong support to a defensive corps that is second in the NESCAC in goals allowed at 1.12 per game, well below the 1.93 average from a year ago.

Joining Dier from Amherst on the All-NESCAC First Team is first-year teammate Courtney Hanlon (Fullerton, CA). Currently second among conference rookies and fourth overall in scoring, the first-year forward has a team-leading 30 points with 12 goals and 18 assists while seeing action in all 25 of the Jeffs’ games. Hanlon and company posted a 12-0-4 record in NESCAC play this season en route to a second-place finish in the standings, a program best. Hanlon was tabbed the NESCAC Player of the Week earlier this season for recording three goals and an assist during a perfect 2-0 weekend for the Lord Jeffs.

After earning All-NESCAC First Team honors last year, Amherst junior forward Tarasai Karega (Detroit, MI) and sophomore goaltender Krystyn Elek (Summerville, SC) were each named to this year’s Second Team. Karega is right behind Hanlon in points, as her 15 goals are tied for the fourth most in the conference and her 27 points are tied for sixth. Her eight power play goals are also tied for tops in the NESCAC.

After earning Rookie of the Year honors a year ago, Elek followed up with another dominant season in net. She is currently fourth in the NESCAC in save percentage (.942), goals-against average (1.27) and winning percentage (.735, 11-3-3), and has posted six shutouts on the year. In last year’s postseason, Elek set NESCAC Championship records for saves in a game (65) and saves in a tournament (127), as she will be expected to play a vital role once again this weekend when the conference championship resumes. 

Rounding out the Amherst All-NESCAC honorees is first-year Randi Zukas (Glen Head, NY), whose numbers are similar to Dier’s. Zukas has contributed one goal and 12 assists on defense, placing her tied for fifth in the conference in defenseman scoring and eighth in first-year scoring.

Hanlon, Dier, Karega, Zukas and Elek will lead the Lord Jeffs (18-3-4/12-0-4) this weekend as they defend their NESCAC crown in the conference championship.

Sophomore Kirsten Dier was named to the All-NESCAC First Team for the second consecutive year. 

* - 2006-07 All-Conference First Team
^ - 2006-07 All-Conference Second Team
First Team

F - Annmarie Cellino (Middlebury - Jr.) ^
F - Courtney Hanlon (Amherst - Fy.)
F - Anna McNally (Middlebury - Fy.)
D - Kirsten Dier (Amherst - So.) *
D - Karen Levin (Middlebury - Sr.)
G - Isabel Iwachiw (Trinity - So.)

Second Team

F - Becky Julian (Colby - Jr.)
F - Tarasai Karega (Amherst - Jr.) *
F - Kim Weiss (Trinity - Fy.)
D - Lindsay McNamara (Bowdoin - Jr.)
D - Randi Zukas (Amherst - Fy.)
G - Krystyn Elek (Amherst - So.) *

Player of the Year: Annmarie Cellino, Middlebury
Rookie of the Year: Anna McNally, Middlebury
Coach of the Year: Andrew McPhee, Trinity