YORK, PA – The 2013 Capital Athletic Conference women's soccer champion York College placed six players on the All-CAC squads as announced by the league on Wednesday afternoon.
York had three players on each team as senior Dale Mason (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy) was joined on the first team by juniors Melanie Glessner (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) and Clare Chatham (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron). Junior Kayla Kovalsky (Merrick, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) along with sophomores Jamie Sokolis (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) and Chelsea McDowell (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) represented York on the second team.
The Spartans, who finished second in the regular season, won the tournament championship with a dramatic penalty kick win at top seeded Christopher Newport. The Captains tied the Spartans with six All-CAC selections including the Player, Rookie and Coach of the Year honorees.
Mason makes her second All-CAC appearance after being a second teamer as a junior. Mason anchors a defensive unit that owns a 0.61 goals against average. York has pitched nine shutouts this year while recording a .868 save percentage as a team. Last year, she led the nation's best defense as York had a 0.30 goals against average.
Mason tallied one assist from her defensive position this fall. She has played in 73 games during her career and has one goal and four assists for six points.
"Dale has been a very good player for us for the last four years and this year was no exception," said Spartan head coach Vicki Sterner. "She has been a rock for us in the back for four years and I am thrilled to see her get recognized. Dale has been a great player and a great leader. She will be hard to replace next year."
Glessner also makes her second appearance on the all-conference squad after being a second team selection as a junior. Glessner battled injuries this year, but she was still one of the best goalkeepers in the country. Glessner owns a 0.67 goals against average in 18 games for the Green and White. She owns a .851 save percentage as she faced 157 shots in 1348:28 of work so far this year. Glessner recorded four full shutouts and was a part of five other clean sheets. Her best performance of the year came in the championship penalty kick shootout as she stopped four of five CNU shots that were on target as she allowed York to win the first conference title since 2007.
Glessner's career numbers are impressive as she boasts a 0.54 goals against average with a .890 save percentage and 19 shutouts in 41 matches.
"Mel really battled this year," says Sterner. "She has come up so big for us so many times. Her performance in the shootout in the conference championship game is something I will never forget. There were such high expectations after her performance last year it would be hard for anyone to follow that up but Mel did a very good job. She is proving why she is one of the best goalies in the nation."
Chatham took a huge leap forward as she became York's primary playmaker in the middle. Chatham is York's leading scorer at 16 points on four goals and a team-leading eight assists. She recorded a pair of game-winning goals and had a career-high three assists in the Spartans' September 21 win at Goucher. She is tied for first in the conference in assists.
"Clare had a great year," said Sterner. "She stepped up big time and gave us a playmaker in the middle of the field. Her ability to set up others really helped the offense improve from last year. I was happy to see her get recognized for the year she had."
Kovalsky was another player who really stepped up as a junior. The midfielder is York's leading goal scorer with six tallies while she also had one assist for 13 points. She had a career-high five points in the 4-0 win over Marymount courtesy of two goals and an assist. She then had another monster game in the CAC semifinals as she lifted York to a 3-1 win thanks to a pair of goals. She scored five of her six goals for the year in conference action.
"Kayla really came on towards the middle of the year and gave us some good scoring punch," said Sterner. "We put her in the midfield and she really came on strong. She is a kid who has worked hard and I am glad to see her earn All-CAC honors."
McDowell is another huge part of the stellar Spartan defense. She is usually the Spartan assigned to the other team's top forward. Her athleticism and determination make her a nightmare match up for opponents. She has played in and started all 19 of the Spartans' games to date and has proven to be one of the best defenders in the region. McDowell has played in and started all 37 games in her Spartan career. She recorded two goals this year, as she is extremely dangerous on restarts outside the box.
"Simply put, Chelsea is one of the best defenders in our conference," says Sterner. "Her ability to shut down our opponent's top offensive players has been a huge key to our success this season. We are very fortunate to have Chelsea and Dale on defense."
Sokolis blossomed during her sophomore year after battling injuries throughout the year. Sokolis finished the year with 11 points on five goals and an assist. She recorded a team-high three game-winning goals. The impressive thing about her performance was her accuracy as she scored her five goals on just 12 total shots for the season. She scored the lone goal in two of the Spartans' 1-0 wins during the season.
"Jamie is such a tough kid," says Sterner. "To overcome her injury in the middle of the year after she got off to a good start is impressive. She plays so hard and really gives us max effort every time she is on the field. Her desire to help our team is tremendous."
Sterner was thrilled to see her kids receive the All-CAC recognition.
"It's all about our kids," says Sterner. "They are the ones that have put in the hard work and made the sacrifices necessary to have a championship team. I am very proud of them and I am very proud of their accomplishments. Winning a conference championship in our league isn't easy. I don't think I couldn't ask for a better way to end the season than with a conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament."
The Spartans will embark on their NCAA Tournament journey on Saturday morning when they face Carnegie Mellon in an opening round match at Homewood Field on the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Game time is set for 11:00 am.