Boston, MA --- The WPI women's soccer team secured three of the four major NEWMAC postseason awards as chosen by the league's head coaches.
Sophomore Gabi Hoops (Stonington, CT) was named the league's inaugural defender of the year while freshman Kristen McCrea (Weymouth, MA) was tabbed as the rookie of the year and Steph Schafer was selected as the coach of the year. McCrea becomes the program's second rookie selection, and first since Megan Forti in 2010, while Schafer is the first WPI women's soccer coach to earn the accolade.
Junior Susannah Gray (York, ME) joined McCrea on the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team as Hoops was placed on the second team. Senior Lindsay Schneider (East Lyme, CT), meanwhile, was named to the inaugural NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
Hoops leads the NEWMAC in save percentage (.892), fewest goals (seven) and a .36 goals against average in 1769:18 minutes played. Her GAA is ranked 17th and save percentage is 22nd in Division III heading into the NCAA tournament. Hoops (16-2-2) has also stopped 58 shots and registered 10 clean sheets thus far. She only allowed one goal in the month of October.
McCrea boasts Engineer-bests of 11 assists, 21 points and four game-winners following the NEWMAC Women's Soccer Championship. Between the time the votes were tabulated and today's announcement, McCrea, the tournament most outstanding player, scored the double OT game-ender versus Springfield in the semifinal and added a pair of assists versus MIT in the title match.
Gray, a co-captain and defensive-minded midfielder, totaled four goals and nine points in 2016. She scored the game-winner in the season opener at Suffolk and against Wheaton. She had been a second teamer in 2014 and 2015.
Schafer and her squad set the program record for most wins in a single season with a 16-2-2 ledger heading into this weekend. The Engineers also tout a number of firsts including a piece of the NEWMAC regular season title, the NEWMAC tournament championship and an NCAA bid. In addition to initial appearances in the NEWMAC semifinals and finals, it was also the first time the team has hosted a postseason contest.
Look for more information about the NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship Team Thursday.