PAWTUCKET, R.I. - The Keene State women's soccer team had an impressive six student-athletes earn Little East Conference (LEC) All-Conference recognition, the league office announced today.
Highlighting the accolades was sophomore defender Nicole De Almeida, who was selected as the 2017 LEC Defensive Player of the Year and to the First Team All-Conference. Joining De Almeida on the First Team were senior defender Tori Laires and junior midfielder Patricia Norton. Senior forwards Katie Silegy and Taylor Farland, along with midfielder Julia Pearson were named to the Second Team All-Conference.
De Almeida becomes the fourth player in program history to garner LEC Defensive Player of the Year honors. A native of Nashua, N.H., De Almeida was a dominant force on the Owls' backline, as the sophomore's speed was unmatched by most. The 2016 LEC Rookie of the Year, De Almeida earns First Team honors for the second straight year.
In her final season with the Owls, Laires was a key component of the Keene State defense, starting every game and tallying three helpers. From Ludlow, Mass., Laires picks up her first First Team recognition for her tenacious play, after being named to the Second Team during her junior campaign.
A 2016 LEC First Team selection and the 2015 LEC Rookie of the Year, Norton collects her second consecutive First Team honors. A native of Hampton, Conn., Norton was an essential part of the midfield and produced two goals and one assist in eight games for Keene State.
For the second consecutive year, Silegy of Keene, N.H. earns Second Team honors, after starting all 20 games for the Owls. The senior forward led the team in goals scored with 12 and in assists with seven, finishing tied for second in the LEC in goals scored and in points with 31. An instrumental part of Keene State's offensive line, Silegy was named the LEC Offensive Player of the Week twice.
Farland, from Fiskdale, Mass., earned a spot on the All-LEC team for the fourth straight year. A two-time First Team selection and a force on the Owls' front line through all four of her seasons, Farland becomes a two-time Second Team honoree. In 19 starts, the senior forward finished second on the team in goals scored and assists with nine and six, respectively, while finishing with a team second best and LEC fourth best 24 points. Farland caps off her career tied for fifth all-time in goals scored with 41 and eighth all-time in points with 97.
Pearson earns the first postseason conference nod of her career, being named to the Second Team. From Harwinton, Conn., the senior midfielder produced four goals and four assists, including the game-winning goal at Westfield State. A very active midfielder in 20 starts for the Owls, Pearson finished tied for third in assists with four and third overall in points with 12 among Keene State.