2011 NEC All-Conference Teams and Awards

Now in her seventh year, Phillips and the Colonials squad enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2011 after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the NEC Tournament in each of the last four seasons. Picked fourth in the preseason poll, the Colonials not only outstripped expectations, but established a new school mark with seven conference victories to earn a spot in the postseason for the first time since the program was established back in 2005. After a 1-2 start to the year in league play, Robert Morris enters the playoffs riding a wave of momentum, having won six games in a row. The Colonials have now finished at or above .500 against NEC opposition in each of the last five seasons under Phillips, who is the first member of the Robert Morris program to win a major postseason award.

Along with Caroleo's NEC Player of the Year accolade, Quinnipiac junior midfielder Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, MA/Hopkinton) and senior defender Kaitlyn Kelly (North Massapequa, NY/Plainedge) both earned first team All-NEC accolades for the second time in their respective careers. Gibney pitched in with 30 goals and 11 assists during the regular season and ranks third on the Bobcats with 41 points. A two-time NEC Player of the Week, she has amassed 92 goals over her first three seasons. She is also fifth in the conference with 2.73 draw controls per game. The 2010 NEC Defensive Player of the Year, Kelly comes off another strong season anchoring one of the league's top-ranked defensive units. She was named NEC Defensive Player of the Week on April 4th and has accounted for 1.77 caused turnovers per game to rank second in the league.

Robert Morris landed three players on the first team, including one at each field position. Senior attacker Ashley Trombetta (Sykesville, MD/Century) has been dominant on the draw circle all season for the Colonials and ranks second in the conference with 3.0 draw wins per game. The two-time NEC Player of the Week also leads the team with 18 assists and is second in goals (27) and points (45). Trombetta, who was a second team All-League pick in 2010, is currently tied for the NEC lead with 10 free position goals. Junior midfielder Colleen O'Donnell (Portland, OR/St. Mary's Academy) has been the straw that stirs the drink for the Colonials. Defensively, she has few peers across the country. O'Donnell leads Division I with 3.38 caused turnovers per game and also ranks third in the nation with 3.62 ground balls per outing. She was tabbed NEC Defensive Player of the Week on April 18 and has posted the four highest single-game marks for caused turnovers in the league this season. With the ball in her hands, she ranks first on Robert Morris with 36 goals and 48 points. Within the conference, she is fifth in goals per game (2.25) and seventh in points per game (3.0). Senior defender Mallory Schulze (Bel Air, MD/C. Milton Wright) patrols a defense that has been superb down the stretch, allowing an average of just 8.2 goals over its six-game win streak to close out the regular season. She ranks second on the Colonials with 30 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers.

Playoff bound Mount St. Mary's sports three first teamers with junior attacker Jen Semler (Baltimore, MD/Perry Hall) and junior midfielder Esther Rufolo (Woodstock, MD/Chapelgate Christian Academy) joining Jost, the NEC Defensive Player of the Year. Semler came on strong as a featured offensive performer for the Mount this season. She leads the team with 34 goals, 14 assists and 48 points, and posted five hat tricks against NEC opposition, including four straight over a two week stretch in late March and early April. A second team All-NEC honoree a year ago, Rufolo has racked up 34 goals and 38 points on the year. She is fourth in the conference with 2.94 draw controls per game and has collected 29 ground balls.

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2011-04-28



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