DATE: November 1, 2012
SOUTHBURY, Conn. - - The top seeded Wilmington University women’s soccer team is set to head into the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday, but first had six players and its head coach recognized at the annual CACC Soccer Banquet at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Thursday night.
Fifth year head coach Josh Ruggiero took home top honors with his second CACC Coach of the Year award after leading the Wildcats to a 10-1-1 conference record and the CACC Regular Season Championship, earning the Tournament’s top seed.
Ruggiero helped turn around a team that finished 11th in the CACC in 2011 with a 3-8-1 conference record and propel them to the top seed in this weekend’s tournament. It is the second time in his five year tenure that he has been named CACC Coach of the Year, doing so in 2010 when leading the team to a perfect 12-0 mark and the No. 1 seed in the 2010 CACC Tournament.
Wilmington had two players voted to the CACC First Team as senior defender Alli Williams and sophomore midfielder Morgan Fraczkowski earned a place among the league’s top 11 players.
For Williams, it is her third First Team honor in her career, after being named to the league’s top tier in 2009 and again in 2010. She helped anchor a Wildcat defense that was third in the CACC in goals against average (1.41) and third in total goals against (28). The senior played in all 19 games on the backline, starting in 17 matches.
It is the first postseason honor for Fraczkowski, as the sophomore started in all 19 matches in 2012 controlling the midfield. Fraczkowski was second on the team with 18 points, tallying seven goals and four assists on the season. She scored a season high two goals against Bloomfield on September 15, helping the team to a 6-0 win on Homecoming.
The Wildcats also put four players on the CACC Second Team in 2012, leading Wilmington to posting the most players on the two teams combined with six. Seniors Amanda Walters, Vikki Zipf and Penelope Fantis, as well as junior Chelsea Grace were all named to the CACC Second Team this season.
Walters played and started in 18 games in goal for the Wildcats this season, going 11-5-2 in the process. The senior recorded five shutouts on the season and was second in the CACC with a 1.38 goals against average. She became the all-time leader in saves in Wildcat history this season, recording 83 on the year and now has 283 in her four-year career. It is the first time in her career she has been named to an All-CACC team.
Senior classmate Zipf also found herself on the All-CACC Second Team for the first time in her career, as she also helped anchor the defense in 2012. She tallied a goal and two assists on the year, converting her lone penalty kick opportunity on year at Felician and tallying assists at Goldey-Beacom and again against Nyack from the backline. She has started in all 19 games this season and helped the team to a 1.41 goals against average on the year.
Fantis repeats on the All-CACC Second Team for the second year in a row after playing in all 19 matches, starting in 17. She tallied four goals and added two assists in controlling the possession and pace of play in the midfield. She scored two goals in a 4-1 win against Holy Family on September 25 for a season high four points.
The lone junior among the group for the Wildcats, Grace earned Second Team All-CACC in her first year with the program. She has come on strong as of late, scoring seven goals and adding two assists in a span of four games from October 13 to October 23. The forward scored a hat trick, including the game-winner, in a 6-2 victory over Chestnut Hill. She leads the team with 10 goals and seven assists for 27 points. She is currently third in the CACC in assists and fourth in points on the year.
The CACC also handed out other top honors among the conference, as Georgian Court’s Denisha Thomas earned CACC Player of the Year as the defender anchored the Lions with a second place 1.36 goals against average in starting all 19 matches.
Caldwell’s standout freshman Sarina Soriano was named the CACC Rookie of the Year after scoring five goals and adding three assists in leading the Cougars to a No. 3 seed in the CACC Tournament.
Rounding out the awards at the annual CACC banquet was Bloomfield College who earned the CACC Team Sportsmanship award.
The CACC Semifinal field is set to begin play on Friday at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, Conn., starting at 11 a.m. Top seed Wilmington will square off against No. 4 Georgian Court in the first matchup at 11 a.m. before No. 2 Philadelphia and No. 3 Caldwell begin at 1:30 p.m.
2012 All-CACC Women’s Soccer Teams
GK – Kelli Kowalewski, Philadelphia University
D – Denisha Thomas, Georgian Court University
D – Chelsea Riedell, Philadelphia University
D – Melissa Benson, Holy Family University
M – Melissa Copeland, Philadelphia University
M – Julie Crankshaw, Caldwell College
M – Morgan Fraczkowski, Wilmington University
F – Megan Tole, Holy Family University
F – Renel Dennis, Post University
F – Carly Digiovanni, Chestnut Hill College
AL - Alli Williams, Wilmington University
GK – Amanda Walters, Wilmington University
D – Lauren Nolte, Chestnut Hill College
D – Jackie Crankshaw, Caldwell College
D – Vikki Zipf, Wilmington University
M – Sarina Soriano, Caldwell College
M – Katie Vecchio, Georgian Court University
M – Penelope Fantis, Wilmington University
F – Alysia Arcona, Felician College
F – Chelsea Grace, Wilmington University
F – Kristen Ferguson, Philadelphia University
AL - Rebecca Stringer, Caldwell College
2012 CACC Player of the Year: Denisha Thomas, Georgian Court
2012 CACC Rookie of the Year: Sarina Soriano, Caldwell College
2012 CACC Coach of the Year: Josh Ruggiero, Wilmington University
2012 CACC Team Sportsmanship Award: Bloomfield College