Jennifer Ouellet named 2011 Little East Conference Co-Coach of the Year

Lauren Poppe named Midfielder of the Year and six Colonials
honored on LEC All-Star First and Second Teams

official release from Jack Holleran - LEC Director of Communications

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA (May 10) - Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Western Connecticut State University each earned two honors when the Little East Conference announced its women’s lacrosse major award winners and all-conference teams this afternoon. Warrior junior attacker Ashley Prizio (Brookfield, Conn.) was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year, while Corsair sophomore Selina Houghton (Billerica, Mass.) was chosen as the Defensive Player of the Year. Colonial junior Lauren Poppe (Brookfield, Conn.) was named the Midfielder of the Year, and University of Southern Maine freshman midfielder Jackie Kelly (Brunswick, Maine) was tabbed as the Rookie of the Year. Eastern Connecticut’s Christine Hutchison and Western Connecticut’s Jennifer Ouellet were voted the Co-Coaches of the Year by their peers. UMass Dartmouth completed the major award winners by garnering the Team Sportsmanship Award.

In addition to the major award winners, the conference office also sponsored 12-member first and second teams. The Colonials place a Little East-best six student-athletes on the all-conference teams, while Eastern Connecticut and Southern Maine each had five selections.

Prizio is just the second Warrior student-athlete to earn the coveted offensive award, joining former standout Megan Gloster (2008). The Brookfield, Conn. product is also making her debut on the All-Little East, first-team. She scored the second-most goals (9) and points (10) in a single game in program history against Rhode Island College on April 23. The Eastern Connecticut offensive catalyst is tied for 41st in the nation in goals (60), while leading the conference circuit in goals per game (3.53), game-winning goals (5), and points per game (4.29). A starter in all 17 matches this season, Prizio registered at least one marker in 15 games. The proven goal scorer posted 10 hat tricks on the campaign, including five straight from April 16 to May 5. In six Little East matches, Prizio delivered the decisive strike against the Panthers, Anchorwomen, and Huskies. She also controlled 32 draws, collected 28 ground balls, and caused seven turnovers. Prizio was honored as Offensive Player of the Week twice on the season.

Houghton is the first UMass Dartmouth women’s lacrosse player to earn the top defensive award. The native of Billerica, Mass. sat atop the conference individual standings in ground balls (65), while ranking second in caused turnovers (24). A starter in each of her  16 contests, Houghton scooped up at least three ground balls in 11 different matches. She posted a season-high eight ground balls and seven caused turnovers at Western Connecticut on April 23. Houghton was also a force during restarts, controlling 22 draws. She also contributed to the offensive rush with six points on four goals and two assists. Houghton registered a season-high two markers against the Huskies on May 3.

Poppe is the inaugural winner of the top midfielder award. The junior from Brookfield, Conn. is making her third consecutive appearance on the All-Little East teams and second straight on the first squad. Poppe currently ranks among the conference leaders in caused turnovers per game (3rd, 1.44), ground balls per game (4th, 3.61), and assists (25). A starter in all 18 games, she produced 43 points, on 18 goals and 25 helpers, to finish third on the Colonials in scoring. Poppe netted the game-winning goal and matched her season high in assists (4) and points (5) at Kean University on March 8. A versatile player, she also secured 65 ground balls, 41 draw controls, and forced 26 turnovers. Poppe collected a season-best six ground balls twice on the campaign, most recently at Eastern Connecticut on April 27.

Kelly is the second-straight and fourth overall student-athlete in Southern Maine women’s lacrosse history to garner the top rookie award. The Brunswick, Maine product sits atop the conference leaderboard in caused turnovers per game (1.95), while ranking second in ground balls per game (3.71). Kelly made an immediate impact on the Huskies’ roster, earning a start in each of her 19 contests. She registered 22 goals and six assists for 28 points, while collecting 71 ground balls, 44 draws, and 37 caused turnovers. Kelly recorded her first collegiate marker against the University of New England on March 8. She penned a season-high four points in her ledger twice on the campaign, most recently against Eastern Connecticut in the regular-season finale on April 30. Kelly was a ball hawk on the defensive end, registering at least five ground balls six different times. She scooped up a season-best nine at Plymouth State on April 27. Kelly also controlled a season-high eight draws against the Warriors, while causing a season-best seven turnovers against Rhode Island College.

Hutchison is no stranger to the Coach of the Year award, attaining the accomplishment for the third time in her career. Eastern Connecticut completed the season with a 7-8 overall record, including a 6-0 mark in the conference circuit. She guided the Warriors to the program’s fifth consecutive Little East regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference championship. Eastern Connecticut earned a come-from-behind victory over intrastate rival Western Connecticut to make the program’s seventh-straight and ninth overall appearance in the championship round. Hutchison mentored three student-athletes on the All-Little East, first-team and two players on the second squad.          
Ouellet earned her first share of the top mentor award after leading the Colonials to the program’s third consecutive season with at least nine victories (9-9). Western Connecticut secured the No. 4 seed in the Little East Championship with a 3-3 mark, including a key win at Plymouth State on April 30 to earn the final first-round home game.  The Colonials experienced some tough luck as Western Connecticut dropped its three conference contests by a combined four goals. Under her guidance, the Colonials featured an explosive offensive unit—averaging 12.22 goals and 6.44 assists per game—with four student-athletes recording at least 40 points on the campaign. Ouellet will welcome back each of her four top scorers from 2011, as well as All-Little East, second-team goalie freshman Karli Portnoy (Sea Cliff, N.Y.).

The Little East Conference is celebrating its 25th anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year. The conference began sponsoring men's and women's basketball in 1986 as a six-member conference. The Little East has grown to its current eight-institution membership and sponsorship of 19 intercollegiate athletics sports.

2011 All-Little East Women's Lacrosse Teams

First Team
Name............... Position.... Institution

Nicole Perrone..... Attacker.... Western Connecticut State University
Ashley Prizio...... Attacker.... Eastern Connecticut State University
Shelby Turcotte.... Attacker.... University of Southern Maine
Jamie Albert....... Midfielder.. Keene State College
Rosie Forster...... Midfielder.. University of Southern Maine
Daniela Marchitto.. Midfielder.. Eastern Connecticut State University
Lauren Poppe....... Midfielder.. Western Connecticut State University
Mary Vaughan....... Midfielder.. University of Southern Maine
Megan Barrett...... Defender.... Eastern Connecticut State University
Emily Brooks....... Defender.... Western Connecticut State University
Selina Houghton.... Defender.... University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Samantha Kiesel.... Goalie...... University of Southern Maine

Second Team
Name............... Position.... Institution

Jill Kirk.......... Attacker.... Keene State College
Devon Edwards...... Attacker.... Western Connecticut State University
Lauren Sawyer...... Attacker.... Keene State College
Lauren Brown....... Midfielder.. Keene State College
Taylor Buchanan.... Midfielder.. Eastern Connecticut State University
Emily Buckle....... Midfielder.. Plymouth State University
Jacki Kelly........ Midfielder.. University of Southern Maine
Caitlin Swanson.... Midfielder.. Plymouth State University
Samantha Blackwell. Defender.... Western Connecticut State University
Rachel Meotti...... Defender.... Eastern Connecticut State University
Casey Otovic....... Defender.... University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Karli Portnoy...... Goalie...... Western Connecticut State University

Offensive Player of the Year
Ashley Prizio, Eastern Connecticut State University

Defensive Player of the Year
Selina Houghton, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Midfielder of the Year
Lauren Poppe, Western Connecticut State University

Rookie of the Year
Jacki Kelly, University of Southern Maine

Co-Coaches of the Year
Jennifer Ouellet, Western Connecticut State University

Christine Hutchison, Eastern Connecticut State University

Team Sportsmanship Award
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth