After an impressive season for the Keene State College women’s soccer team, Taylor Farland and Nicole De Almeida were named to the 2016 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Women’s Soccer All-Star Team. The Owls finished the season 14-6, with one of those reasons being the performance Farland and De Almeida displayed this year.
Farland talked about what it was like being named to the ECAC Division III New England Women’s Soccer All-Star Team. “Being named to the ECAC All Star Team was a real honor. It’s always nice to be recognized for different accomplishments, whether they are as a team or individually. I am glad that I am able to be a part of the team that contributes to the success of the Keene State women’s soccer program not only in the Little East Conference (LEC), but also the ECAC,” Farland said.
First-year De Almeida also talked about what it was like being named to the ECAC all star team, “It was a huge honor to be named to the ECAC All Star Team. It was great to see my hard work pay off and it’s motivation to keep improving for the future years.”
Farland, a junior studying management from Fiskdale, Massachusetts, has played for the Owls over the last three seasons. In her first season, Farland produced 12 goals and was named to the All LEC Second Team. As a sophomore, Farland had nine goals and added another two assists.
In her third season, Farland had yet another impressive year, adding 11 goals and six assists. Farland’s 11 goals on the season was the second most on the team for the Owls this year and fourth in the LEC. She recorded a total of 28 points, which was third in the LEC.
Farland had a few words about what it has been like being a part of the women’s soccer team over the past three years. “Being a part of the women’s soccer team for the last three years has been so beneficial to my college experience. I have been able to play the sport that I love, as well as make some great friends along the way. Being a part of this team and any team is special because you get put into a group of people that share the same passion for something that you do.”
De Almeida, a first-year studying secondary education, is from Nashua, New Hampshire. In her rookie season, De Almeida was a defender who started all 20 games.
On the defensive end, the Owls had a great year, holding a 1.14 goal against percentage average in the 2016 season.
De Almeida as rookie was not only named to the ECAC Division III New England Women’s Soccer All-Star Team, but she also earned LEC Rookie of the Year honors. De Almeida talked about what it has been like
playing for the Owls over the last year. “It was a great experience for me. The team did really well and it was a great start to my athletic career here at Keene,” De Almeida said.
The Keene State College field hockey team ended the year on a tough loss against Messiah College in postseason. However, the team finished the year with a 21-4 record. Seniors Sami Smith, Brittney Cardente, Marita Brothers and Kayla Renaud were all named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Honors.
Each fall, they recognize an elite group of student athletes at the ECAC Honors Luncheon. The goal of the awards program is to recognize the accomplishments of the conference’s admired student athletes who have represented the ECAC.
Smith, from Merrimack, New Hampshire, is a senior at Keene State studying communication. Playing forward in her first year here at Keene, Smith played in 24 games, including 10 starts as an Owl.
In her first season, she scored 13 goals and had eight assists. She also had two multi-goal games, helping her achieve Little East Conference Rookie of The Year.
Leading into her sophomore year, Smith started all 24 games and ended the season with 16 goals and six assists. By the end of the season, she was named Little East Conference (LEC) All Conference Second Team Selection.
Entering 2015, Smith, as a junior, tallied 25 goals and six assists for the season, playing in all 25 games. Smith was awarded the LEC First Team All Conference, LEC Offensive Player Of The Year and the NFHCA Third Team All-American Honors award.
Smith talked about her career as a field hockey player and what it was like to play alongside Cardente, Brothers and Renaud. “It has been so fun and cool to watch us grow as a team year after year.”
Smith had a career-high of 36 goals on the season, eight of which were game-winning goals. She tallied another career-high, bringing in 13 assists. Smith was later named All-American, All First Team All Region by NFHCA, ECAC Honors and she was awarded ECAC Offensive Player Of The Year.
Another senior Marita Brothers studying Health Science, from Stafford Springs, Connecticut, played defense for the Keene State College field hockey team.
Brothers transferred from Western New England University after her first year and has been an Owl ever since. In her first year coming into Keene as a sophomore, she started all 24 games for the Owls. Brothers finished the 2014 season off with three goals and eight assists from the defensive end. She also added a team high of seven defensive saves. Junior year rolled around and Brothers came back even stronger.
Brothers was named to the All LEC First Team. Brothers came into the season netting four goals, assisted an additional two and made three defensive saves for the 2015 season.
In Brothers’ last season, she notched two goals in addition to nine assists. Not only that, but she also recorded nine defensive saves for the year.
Brothers was awarded ECAC Honors, as well as First Team All Region by NFHCA and she was an All-American alongside Smith. Brothers said, “ECAC Honors was very exciting. I had never heard of it before so when I looked into it more, I realized that it was a big accomplishment.”.
Brothers talked about what it was like to play alongside Cardente, Smith and Renaud. “It has been incredibly memorable and they’re not only my teammates, but my best friends so I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Renaud, from Somers, Connecticut, is a senior here at Keene State studying nutrition. A forward and midfielder for the team, Renaud has played all four years as an Owl. In her first season, Renaud played in 24 games, starting half of them. Renaud tallied 13 goals and two assists in her first year as an Owl.
The 2014 season rolled around and she played in another 24 games. Renaud started every game except for one and added eight goals and four assists. She ended the year and was named to the Little East Conference First Team.
Entering Renaud’s junior year, she scored nine goals with 10 assists. Renaud ended the 2015 season earning First Team All-LEC Honors. In her final season as an Owl, Renaud tallied six goals, one being a game-winning goal, and added nine assists.
Renaud was awarded ECAC Honors in the 2016 season. Renaud talked about what it was like to be a part of the field hockey team here at Keene State. “It has been a great experience and I am very thankful. My career wouldn’t be the same without them and neither would the memories.”
Cardente, from North Kingstown, Rhode Island, is the final senior of the four here at Keene State who was awarded ECAC Honors. Cardente is a midfielder studying physical education. She played four years as an Owl.
Entering her first year, Cardente appeared in 19 games. Coming into her sophomore year in 2014, she started all 24 games and scored four goals with nine assists. Cardente was named to the LEC Third Team. Brittney talked about how well they played together collectively. “Kayla, Sami and myself have been playing since freshman year and Marita was a transfer, but she immediately fit in with our grade, team and style of playing.”
Cardente said, “The past three years, all four of us have played together. It honestly has been an amazing journey. Our class is very close both on and off the field and we thrive off of each other’s success. Sami is a forward, Marita is a defender and Kayla and I are midfield so we are all balanced out on the field so it never once felt as if we are competing against one another because we all had our separate roles and worked off of each other.”
For any further information on the Keene State Owls field hockey team you can find at keeneowls.com/sports.
Cameron Mozzer can be contacted at Cmozzer@kscequinox.com