November 3, 2011

Morrill, Thornton headline Bobcat all-Conference Carolinas selections

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- Lees-McRae College women's soccer head coach Cally Morrill was named Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year, and forward Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) earned the league's Freshman of the Year honors as the Bobcats placed a program-record seven players on the all-Conference Carolinas team.

Lees-McRae paced the conference with its seven selections, while Belmont Abbey College and Limestone College placed six and five players on the teams, respectively.

Sophomore MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.), and seniors Brooke Santerre (Port Republic, Md.) and Mary Dorn (Shallotte, N.C.) garnered all-Conference Carolinas first team honors, as Thornton, senior Vickie Rich (Arlington Heights, Ill.), and freshman goalkeeper Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) earned second team recognition. Junior Emily Jones (Leonardtown, Md.) also garnered third team recognition.

Morrill has taken the Bobcats to new heights this fall, leading Lees-McRae to its first Conference Carolinas regular season championship since 2000. The Bobcats posted an 11-1 record against league opponents in Morrill's second year at the helm, earning the program's first-ever top seed in the conference tournament.

Thornton burst onto the conference and national scene this season, leading all Conference Carolinas freshmen with 12 goals, six assists, and 30 points. A native of Millville, N.J., Thornton has also tallied a pair of match-winners this season, while scoring two or more goals on a trio of occasions. Thornton was also named to the second team in addition to garnering freshman of the year honors.

Sullivan earned a spot on the all-conference first team for the second time in her career, posting her second straight 10-goal season with exactly 10 tallies this fall. The Greensboro, N.C. native has also posted four match-winners this season, while tallying back-to-back braces against St. Andrews and King.

Santerre is in the midst of another strong season with the Bobcats, tallying eight goals, four assists, and 20 points to earn her second straight all-conference first team honors. The Port Republic, Md. native has tied a career-high with her eight goals this season, tallying her fifth career match-winner against Queens on Oct. 8.

Dorn has been a tremendous part of the Bobcats' success this season, helping the backline record 11 clean sheets en route to her third straight all-conference selection. The Shallotte, N.C. native has posted career highs with three goals and seven points this season, including a personal-best performance against Coker with a goal and an assist.

Rich has enjoyed one of the finest individual careers in the program's history, entering Thursday's semifinal round of the conference tournament ranked second in school history in match-winners (17), tied for sixth in goals (38), seventh in assists (27), and eighth in points (103). A native of Arlington Heights, Ill., Rich garners her third career all-conference honors and her second straight second-team selection, having posted a personal-best nine assists this season.

Briggs has posted one of the best individual seasons in program history at the goalkeeper position, earning a second-team selection with a 12-3-1 record to go along with eight clean sheets and a 0.72 goals against average, which currently ranks fourth among the school's single-season records. A native of Oviedo, Fla., Briggs has allowed more than one goal on just five occasions this season, while recording six clean sheets in conference play.

Jones garners her first career all-conference recognition with a third-team selection, providing a calming presence as a possession midfielder for the Bobcats throughout her career. The Leonardtown, Md. native equaled a career-high with four assists this season, while tallying her second career match-winner in LMC's 2-1 win over Erskine in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament on Monday.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Thursday when the Bobcats host third-seeded Limestone in the semifinal round of the conference tournament at 7 p.m. on Tate Field. The Saints won the teams' regular season matchup on Oct. 25 in Gaffney, S.C. by a score of 2-0.

- LMC -