February 28, 2013

Women's Hockey Quartet Honored in All-NESCAC Awards

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Four members of the Bowdoin College women's ice hockey team were recognized in postseason awards handed out by the New England Small College Athletic Conference on Thursday.

Head Coach Marissa O'Neil and first-year Rachel Kennedy led the way with conference Coach of the Year and league Rookie of the Year honors, respectively. Kennedy was joined as a First Team All-NESCAC choice by senior co-captain Kayte Holtz, while senior netminder Kayla Lessard earned Second Team honors.

Senior Kayte Holtz (New Berlin, Wis.) makes her third appearance on the NESCAC's First Team, after collecting 13 goals and 13 assists ranking sixth among conference point producers. Her 68 career goals ranks sixth in Bowdoin history, while her 10 career game-winners have her tied at 7th all time. She has scored three game winners and has helped Bowdoin to its finest season since 2004-05 and, earlier this season, became the tenth player in school history to reach 100 career points. She is also the first Polar Bear to earn three First Team All-NESCAC nods in her career.

Forward Rachel Kennedy (Trumbull, Conn.) earned the Conference's Rookie of the Year. Kennedy is the first individual to earn NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors in both field hockey and ice hockey in the conference's history and is the first Polar Bear to win the award since Dominique Lozzi '12 in 2009. She is also the first freshman to claim First Team recognition since 2010. In her first season, Kennedy led the offense with 29 points on 15 goals and 14 assists. She scored 10 goals and added 10 helpers in NESCAC competition, while scoring three power play goals and netting four game winners.

Taking Second Team honors was senior goaltender Kayla Lessard (Enfield, Conn.). Lessard lead the conference with a 1.27 goals against average and .778 win percentage. Her .947 save percentage is the highest in school history and contributed to the five shutouts she earned during the season. Lessard ranks third all-time for Bowdoin in career wins with 30.

Coach Marissa O'Neil was selected as Coach of the Year. After leading Bowdoin to a 15-8-2 record last season, she guided the Polar Bears to a 19-4-2 overall record and 12-3-1 mark in conference play. Bowdoin's 19 wins this season is the most since the 2004-05 when O'Neil was a senior captain for the Polar Bears.

With a league mark of 12-3-1, the Polar Bears have been dominant on both ends of the ice, leading the NESCAC with 87 goals scored and 37 allowed. Bowdoin also ranks second in penalty kills. The Polar Bears head to Middlebury, Vt. for a semifinal matchup against Amherst at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon.