Nov. 8, 2008

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston Women's Soccer Head Coach Amy Zombeck (Claremont, NH) was named the 2008 Little East Conference Women's Soccer Coach of the Year and freshman forward Kristin Mulry (Holbrook, MA) was honored as the league's Rookie of the Year it was announced today by the conference. Senior sweeper Katherine Wall (Arlington, MA) and junior midfielder Kristi Morales (San Francisco, CA) were both selected to the Little East Conference All-Star First Team, while freshman defender Samantha Place (Newton, NJ) and Mulry were both named to the Second Team.

In her fourth season at UMass Boston, Zombeck becomes the first women's soccer coach in school history to be named Coach of the Year after guiding the Beacons women's soccer squad to its greatest season in school annals. UMass Boston set new school marks for victories with an 8-11-2 record and won its first conference match since September 28, 1995 and went on to post a 3-3-1 mark in LEC play to finish fourth in the league standings. The Beacons advanced to the conference playoffs for the first time in school history and defeated University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 4-0, on November 4 in the quarterfinals, before falling at top-seeded Western Connecticut State University, 4-0, on November 6. A former All-American at Keene State College, Zombeck's recruiting classes of the past three seasons paid dividends this year as UMass Boston owned a school-record four-match unbeaten streak during the season and finished with program records for goals (44), assists (28), points (116), shutouts (six), corner kicks (88) and lowest goals against average (1.91). She took over a program that had not won more than three matches in a season since 1997 and is now the program's all-time victory leader with 19 and the only women's soccer coach in school history to win a playoff game for the Beacons. Prior to her arrival in 2005, UMB had not had a player named to the All-Conference team since 1997, but Zombeck has seen her players named to the All-Star squad on six occasions and one Rookie of the Year. She also saw a UMB player named Rookie of the Week, six of the nine weeks that the award was handed out this year.

Wall earns a spot on the LEC First Team for the second straight year to become the second player in school annals to make that claim and the first since Shannon Murphy was named for the 1996 and 1997 seasons. The senior was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week on two occasions and played in 19 of 21 matches on the season, starting all of them. She was an integral part of a defense that posted a GAA that is the lowest in school history and fifth among LEC teams. The sweeper's effort in the backfield also led to a school-record total of six shutouts on the year.

An Arlington High School graduate, Wall was a captain as both a sophomore and junior for the Beacons and finishes her career as one of the greatest athletes in school history, having played in 12 athletic seasons for three different sports. She was also named to the LEC Second Team in 2006 and ranks second on the program's all-time matches played list with 68, while starting all but two of them. The defender has seen time as a midfielder during her career as well and stands fourth on the career points (24) and goals (nine) list at UMass Boston, while ranking sixth in lifetime assists with six.

Morales is named to the First Team midfield after enjoying a career year that saw her start in 16 of 20 matches and net a career-high eight goals that ranked her eighth among LEC leaders, while her personal-best 20 points also placed her eighth in the league. The junior registered a career-best four assists as well and tied for the team-lead with a pair of game-winning goals. Morales ranked second on the team in goals, points and assists and a .216 shot percentage. Her point-total is the fourth-highest in school history, while her goal and assist output is the fifth-highest in a season for a UMB player. She became one of the league's most lethal scoring threats midway through the season, netting all eight of her tallies in a 10-match span from October to November 1, including a streaks of four and three consecutive matches with at least one goal, respectively. The California native recorded a career-high five points with a pair of goals and an assist at Emerson College on October 14 and was responsible for both of the Beacons' goals in a week that saw them tie Framingham State College on October 28, 1-1, and defeat Plymouth State University on November 1, 1-0.

A graduate of Burlingame High School, Morales has played in 55 matches during her three-year career to rank seventh on the UMB career ladder, while netting eight goals and assisting on six others for 22 points to rank seventh in points, sixth in assists and eighth in goals on the school's career list.

Mulry, who was named to the Second Team as a forward, becomes the first player in program history to be named the league's Rookie of the Year after posting one of the greatest offensive seasons the school has ever seen. The freshman was named the LEC Rookie of the Week a league-high four times and was one of the conference's top offensive players all season. She ranks second in the conference in total points with 29 and second with 14 goals, while owning a .318 shot percentage to lead UMass Boston. Her totals for points and goals are the most in a season for a freshman at UMB in school history and the second-highest for any UMass Boston player in a season. A graduate of Hingham High School, she started 10 of a school-record 21 matches played and her two game-winning goals on the year tie for the team-lead. The forward was an extremely reliable goal-scorer, having scored at least one goal in nine matches, including a streak of five straight matches from October 4-14. The first-year player racked up four multiple-goal outings for the second-most in a season at UMass Boston and became the first player in three years to net three goals in a match when she registered a hat trick in a 6-0 victory at Wheelock College on October 9. She already ranks second on the Beacons career list for points, goals and multiple goal games.

Place was tabbed to the Second Team as a defender, despite playing most of the season with a knee injury. The freshman played in 16 matches, while making 12 starts and tallied six points on two goals and two assists. She helped shore up UMass Boston's defense, helping it record the lowest goals against average in school history and the most shutouts in a campaign at UMB. A Kittatinny High School product, she grabbed the attention of the conference when she was named the league's Rookie of the Week for the week of September 29 to October 5 after coming off an injury to net a goal in the team's 2-0 victory over University of Southern Maine on October 2 in a week that saw the defense hold opponents to just two goals in 200 minutes of play. The rookie also notched points in back-to-back contests with an assist at Wheelock and a helper vs. Eastern Connecticut State University on October 11.