For most college athletes, being recognized as an athlete of the week is quite an accomplishment, but a select few are so talented they are awarded athlete of the year.
Keene State College junior Ally McCall was awarded Defensive Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player in the Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament in women’s field hockey.
Along with these major awards, McCall was also honored with LEC Athlete of the Week for Sep. 3 and Nov. 5 as well as being named to the LEC First Team All-Conference.
McCall joins eight other previous Owls that were also awarded Defensive Player of the Year, the most recent being KSC alumna Marita Brothers in 2016.
McCall started all 24 games this season, helping lead the Owls to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Transferring from a Division I program at University of Vermont, McCall had participated in a higher level of competition, giving her a chance to play against different teams.
Both these awards are highly prestigious, and McCall now has made her mark in the Keene State record books.
“I am really lucky to have such a great team supporting me and such a talented team, seven of us being awarded LEC honors including Nina Bruno who won Offensive Player of the Year is so cool,” said McCall.
Joining McCall and Bruno in the First Team All-Conference is senior and midfielder Erica Stauffer and sophomore and forward Kayla Klein.
Seniors Julia Babbitt and Mia Brickley were awarded honorable mentions as well as junior Hailey Beaupre.
McCall continued to say that it is “very humbling” to be awarded Defensive Player of the Year.
“I never expected to win MVP of the conference tournament, so that was a big surprise to me. It seriously wouldn’t have been possible without the team’s support, we have so many talented players and we trust each other on and off the field,” said McCall.
After the end of the 2018 season, the Owls will lose four key players, three of which were starters and the fourth player appearing in all 24 games.
Senior and captain Courtney Jessup said that McCall “deserves this award.”
“Ally is without a doubt one of the most talented field hockey players I’ve ever gotten to play with. On the field she is a powerhouse. Her skills are amazing, but she also plays with heart. You can always count on her to put 100 percent into every game and practice which is special. She can also pretty much play anywhere on the field.,” said Jessup.
Jessup continued to praise her teammate by saying that she is “extremely talented on and off the field.”
“She has the ability to push people and make them better players, including myself” said Jessup, “I do think that her winning most outstanding player of the tournament boosted her confidence because she is such an amazing player and does not always get the recognition she deserves. She also received LEC defensive player of the year and you know what they say, ‘offense wins games, defense wins championships.”
McCall still has another year left to play with the Owls where she will join Erica Chareth, Kelsey Roberts, Hailey Beaupre, and Jordan LaRaus as senior players.
The Owls finished their season after losing to the defending national champion, Middlebury College, 8-0.
Cailla Prisco can be contacted