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Union Women's Hockey announces 2023-24 awards, celebrates season

Union Women's Hockey announces 2023-24 awards, celebrates season

 


SCHENECTADY, ​​NY – Last Friday, the Union College women's hockey team celebrated a historic season at its annual end-of-year banquet and announced the winners of the 2023-2024 team awards.

Sophomore defenseman Stephanie Bourque and junior goaltender Sophie Matsoukas were honored as co-winners of the George Morrison Team Most Valuable Player. The award, chosen by teammates, is given to the player who played a significant role in the team's success, was seen as a leader in the face of adversity, and was someone the team highly valued as its leader. most consistent contributor on and off the ice.

After an impressive rookie season that tied for fifth on the team, Bourque elevated her game in 2023-2024, scoring a career-best five goals and picking up eight assists for a new career-high of 13 points while dramatically improving her career . defensive play and finished second on the team in takeaways with 346. Her five goals were tied for third most on the team and led all blueliners, while her 13 points saw her finish fourth on the team and once again top the defense . The Moncton, New Brunswick native's eight helpers ranked fourth last season and finished second in the defensive group. Bourque was also one of eight to play in all 35 games in 2023-24, helping to set a new record for games played in a single season.

Matsoukas continued her incredible Union career with a strong season between the pipes of the Union net. Matsoukas played in 31 games in 2023-24, posting a career-high 3.15 goals against average and an .892 save percentage while posting seven wins, the fourth-most in a single season in program history. The seventh win of the season in Ottawa, Ontario – at No. 15 Penn State on January 5 – was the 21st win of her career, setting a new all-time program record as she chased Union to their second-ever victory over a ranked opponent. . With her first save on January 31 against Harvard, Matsoukas became the third goalie in program history to reach the 2,000 save mark. Matsoukas also earned ECAC Hockey MAC Goaltending Goalie of the Week honors on December 12 after stopping 53 of 56 shots (.946 save percentage) in Union's sweep of Rensselaer on December 8 and 9.

The “Ancora Imparo” Process Award was presented to the junior forward Maya Jones. The award, coined for the Italian expression “I'm still learning”, is awarded to the player who has shown the most progress over the course of the season or from last year to this year, and whose development process has occasionally seen growth fueled. the ice.

Jones joined Bourque in the group of eight playing in all 35 games in 2023-24, scoring one goal and adding one assist. Jones made a key contribution with her reliability in anchoring Union's bottom six, ranking second in faceoff percentage among all players who took at least 50 draws with her career-best percentage of 48.7 in her first full season at the center position. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native was praised for her extreme work ethic and dedication to the team, embracing her role in her transition to center from defense and as a key member of Union's penalty kill.

Senior defender for the second year in a row Meredith Killian received the Garnet Glue Award and junior defenseman Maren Friday earned the Hana Yamashita Award.

The Garnet Glue Award, selected by her teammates and coaches, goes to the student-athlete who best exemplifies servant leadership and goes above and beyond to validate and strengthen her teammates.

Killian, who was elevated to captain before the season, played in a career-best 34 games for the third year in a row and matched his career-best from a season ago with five points. The senior scored the first-ever Division I postseason goal and recorded her first career multi-point game in Union's ECAC Hockey Championships Opening Round game at #14 Yale, showing her unselfishness and toughness to play against with two or more blocked shots in 18 games and three or more blocks in six games. The St. Paul, Minnesota native was praised for her consistent attitude and dedication to her teammates and the program, her vocal presence in times of adversity, as well as her positive attitude and vibrant energy.

The Hana Yamashita '97 Award, named after the alum who founded the women's ice hockey club team in 1994 and helped elevate it to varsity status, is presented to the player who demonstrates great competitiveness and consistently puts in 100% effort in both practices and games . , and is extremely conditioned by an unparalleled work ethic.

Friday continued her successful Union career by joining the program's new record-setting group. She played in all 35 games her junior season, scoring three goals and adding five assists for eight points, top-seven on the team and top-three on defense overall. three categories. She scored the third game-winner of her career by scoring the only shorthanded goal of the season on December 8 in Rensselaer. The Duluth, Minnesota native has consistently set the program's benchmark for fitness, effort in practice and success in the classroom, and has been nominated for the program for the ECAC Hockey Mandi Schwartz Student-Athlete of the Year Award for the past two years .

The program also celebrated the many individual and team milestones that occurred during the season.

The team opened their penultimate season at Messa Rink with their first home opener victory since 2013, when they defeated Robert Morris 5–2 on September 29. Senior defender Allison Smiths first career goal 5:14 into the third period was the game winner.

The following weekend, Union had hat tricks in consecutive games for the first time in program history, with the sophomore scoring the third Riley Walsh and freshmen Maddie Leaney each comes in overtime. Walsh's hat trick on October 6 marked the first three-goal game in nearly a decade, while Leaney's performance the following night helped spark an incredible freshman rookie season and played a big role in her landing ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week. and Rookie of the Month honors.

Union entered ECAC hockey play with their most successful conference opening weekend since 2017 and their best first conference road weekend of their Division I era. Leaney scored the second game-winner of her young career on Oct. 20 at Harvard, earning the team's first conference-opening win since 2017 before senior Emily King scored in the third period the next day to tie the Garnet Chargers with Dartmouth for four and a half points as the team went 1-0-1 over the weekend.

After a series of eight competitive matches, seven of which were against ranked opponents, Union returned to the win column in impressive fashion on December 8 and 9. The program secured its first weekend game against crosstown rival Rensselaer since 2020, and the first ever in true home-and-home fashion. Friday's match winner that fateful Friday night gave Union their first victory in Troy in over 11 years before senior Celeste Beaudoin The second two-goal game of her career the following afternoon helped complete the sweep.

After the holiday break, the Garnet Chargers kicked off the new year in dominant fashion on January 1 with a 6-0 victory over Saint Michael's. First year Emma Fulawka led the way with the program's third hat trick of the season, just the second time the program reached the event in the Division I era and tied the program's total number of hat tricks in the past 19 seasons combined. Sophomore Riley Walsh etched her name in the Union record book, becoming the first player in the program's Division I era to record multiple 20-point seasons with her two assists while a senior Kaitlyn Ehmann added her first career goal and Matsoukas recorded her first shutout in almost two years.

Bourque and Leaney scored the overtime winner in Union's first road victory over a ranked opponent, at #15 Penn State on January 5. The victory extended Union's season-long win streak to four and undefeated games to five, matching program records. Matsoukas posted one of her strongest performances of the season, stopping 34 shots, her second-highest total of the season, to earn her record victory.

Walsh put her name on another Union record at #4 Colgate on February 9. With her third-period goal, Walsh set the program's new Division I single-season points record with her 25th point of the campaign. The Duxbury, Massachusetts native added assists the next afternoon at #6/7 Cornell and the following Saturday against #9 Quinnipiac to set the new benchmark at 27.

The highlights continued until Senior Day, when the program honored their Beaudoin senior class, Hope Crisafi, Ehmann, Killian and Smith, and the program's first-ever Division I playoff appearance, when they faced #14 Yale in the opening round of the ECAC Women's Hockey Championships. King had the first assist on Killian's memorable goal in the playoff game, setting the new program record with the 38th helper of her illustrious career. King completed her Union career with 58 points, fourth most in program history and second most in the Division I era.

The team also recognized the individual milestones of the first year Kendal Davidsonbeing named ECAC Hockey Defender of the Week on October 3, Leaney's nomination as the Hockey Commissioners Association runner-up for National Rookie of the Month for late September and October and her selection for the HCA Rookie of the Year Watch List, and Cystic The program's Fibrosis Awareness and Pink the Rink Nights, where they raised nearly $4,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and American Cancer Society.

An additional video was created and played for the seniors, consisting of images, videos and messages from teammates, recognizing them for their success and contributions to each individual and the program as a whole.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://unionathletics.com/news/2024/5/17/womens-ice-hockey-union-womens-hockey-announces-2023-24-awards-celebrates-season.aspx

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