Six Blue Devils Earn All-NEC
Six members of the Central Connecticut women's lacrosse team were recognized by the Northeast Conference at the annual pre-tournament banquet. Senior Betsy Vendel, senior Ali Roche and junior Amanda Toke each earned First Team All-NEC honors. Senior Mackenzy Ryan and sophomore Morgan Tullar earned second team and freshman Elyse Malecki was an All-Rookie selection.
The six selections are the most in a single-season for the CCSU lacrosse program and prior to this year the Blue Devils had received just 11 total All-NEC and All-Rookie selections. The three first team selections is also a new high water mark for the Blue Devil squad.
The first team nod for Vendel is her second consecutive and it is her third straight All-NEC honor. She was a second team selection in 2011 and first team the last two years. She was also the NEC Rookie of the Year in 2012 and earned All-Rookie honors that season. Vendel joins Alice Lee as the only Blue Devils to earn first or second team All-NEC honors in three straight seasons. She also joins Tracey Uellendahl as the only Blue Devils to earn two first team selections.
Vendel broke Uellendahl's school record for points early this season and has extended her new record to 218 with 51 points this season. Vendel has started all 17 games this season for the Blue Devils and has started all 63 games during her four seasons. She led the team with 51 points and also led the team with 32 goals and 19 assists. Vendel also contributed a team-high 41 draw controls, was tied for third on the team with 27 ground balls and had 14 caused turnovers. Vendel holds the CCSU career records for points (218), assists (99) and draw controls (174). She is the only CCSU player to post 50+ points in four straight seasons.
Roche has been a key contributor to the Blue Devil defense that is allowing less than nine goals per game. She leads the team in ground balls (49) and caused turnovers (35). She also has five draw controls on the season. Roche is CCSU's all-time leader in caused turnovers (94) and is second all-time with 142 ground balls.
Toke earns her first team honors following a season in which she did a little of everything for the Blue Devils. From her midfield position, Toke finished third on the team in points (33) and was second on the squad with (26) goals. Toke also tallied seven assists, 26 ground balls, 33 draw controls and 23 caused turnovers. Her draw controls and caused turnovers are both second on the team this season. Toke was also the Blue Devils' most consistent free position shooter connecting on 7-of-9 attempts this season.
Ryan earned a place in the second team midfield with 39 points, 22 goals and 17 assists. Her points and assists are both second on the Blue Devils this year. Ryan also tallied 24 draw controls and 16 ground balls. Ryan's performance this season catapulted her up CCSU's career points, goals and assists lists. She is now third all-time in point (150), third in goals (109) and fourth in assists (41).
Joining Ryan on the second team is Tullar, who earns the second team goalkeeper spot after stopping 139 shots during her first season seeing significant playing time. Tullar posted an impressive goals against average of 8.89 per game while playing every minute of CCSU's 17 games. Tullar's nine wins this season are program record. She also scooped up 34 ground balls and caused eight turnovers.
Malecki's All-Rookie selection is just the second for a Blue Devil player. The rookie attacker finished fourth on the team with 25 points and tied for third on the squad with 22 goals. Malecki also picked up 15 ground balls, nine draw controls and four caused turnovers. She started all 17 games for the Blue Devils during her freshman campaign.
The Blue Devils led the way with six selections over the three teams. Regular season champion Monmouth and third seeded Bryant each placed five players on All-NEC teams.
The #2 Blue Devils will play #3 Bryant at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow. Fans that can not attend the game in West Long Beach, NJ can watch live on NECFrontRow.com