Nov. 11, 2009

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston Women's Soccer Head Coach Amy Zombeck (Claremont, NH) was named the 2009 Little East Conference Women's Soccer Coach of the Year, while Kristin Mulry (Holbrook, MA) was selected a LEC First Team All-Star and Samantha Place (Newton, NJ) earned Second Team All-Star honors it was announced today by the conference. Zombeck earns the award for the second straight year.

Zombeck becomes the third coach in school history to earn multiple Little East Conference Coach of the Year accolades, joining Charlie Titus (Men's basketball 1996-97 & 2005-06) and Myles Berry (Men's Lacrosse 2001, 2003, 2006; Men's Soccer 2006). In her fifth season at UMass Boston, she has guided the Beacons to a 14-5-1 overall record, including 5-1-1 in LEC play to tie for the second-best mark in conference play and earn the number three seed in the LEC tournament. UMass Boston won a tournament quarterfinal match over University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 4-0, for the second straight year and advanced to the conference semifinals match two days later, before falling to eventual league champion Eastern Connecticut State University, 4-0, on November 5. The Beacons earned their first-ever ECAC New England tournament bid as the sixth seed and will play University of New England at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 11 in Biddeford, ME. UMass Boston strung together a school-record nine-match unbeaten streak from September 15 to October 10 as part of a record-breaking campaign that has seen the team establish school standards for victories, goals (59), assists (44), points (162), shutouts (nine), goals against average (1.03) and corner kicks (91). The Beacons' defense has been one of the biggest reasons for their success this year, ranking third in the LEC in goals against average, while owning a streak of 456:18 minutes without a goal allowed from September 26 to October 17, which included four consecutive shutouts. UMass Boston's offensive output has been outstanding as well with an average of 2.95 goals per game to lead the conference and rank 38th in the nation. The Beacons also have six players with 10 or more points for the first time in school history. A former All-American at Keene State College, Zombeck's recruiting classes of the past four seasons have paid dividends this year. She took over a program that had not won more than three matches in a season since 1997 or any Little East Conference matches and is now the program's all-time victory leader with 33. Zombeck is 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 eight occasions and one Rookie of the Year. She also saw multiple players earn league player or rookie of the week honors this season, including two offensive player, two defensive player, four goalkeeper and two rookie of the week awards.

Mulry earns a spot on the LEC First Team as a forward after being selected to the Second Team a year ago to become the first offensive player in school history to earn All-Conference honors in multiple seasons since Shannon Murphy in 1996 and 1997. The sophomore, who has earned Offensive Player of the Week honors twice this season, currently leads the league with 1.75 points per match with 35 points in 20 matches and is the LEC's top goal scorer with 16 markers for 0.80 per match. The forward also ranks third among conference leaders with three game-winning scores, a total which is also the third-most in a season in school annals. She has made the most of her shots, scoring on 39% of her 41 shots, while putting 68.3% of her shots on net. Her point and goal total is the second most for a season in school history, while her total of five multiple-goal matches is good for the second-most in school history. A graduate of Hingham High School, Mulry became just the second player in school history to register more than one hat trick in a season with her second three-goal output coming in a 5-0 victory over Rhode Island College on October 31.

In just two seasons, Mulry has established herself as one of the most prolific scorers of all-time at UMass Boston. She has netted 30 goals and racked up 64 points for the second-highest total for both in school history, while tying for the program standard with nine multiple-goal efforts, including three hat tricks. Her five career game-winners place her second among the Beacons' career leaders as well.

Place is named to the Second Team backfield for the second straight season to become, like Mulry, the first player in school history to earn All-Conference honors in each of her first two years of collegiate soccer. The sophomore started the season slowly, recovering from offseason knee surgery, but has still managed to play in 18 of 20 matches. She has matched her totals from a year ago with six points on two goals and a pair of assists to lead all UMass Boston defenders for the second straight year. She is one of two Beacons' defenders to notch a game-winning tally this season with the deciding marker in a 2-0 win at Plymouth State University on October 23. Place earned Defensive Player of the Week honors for the week of October 19-25 and has started each of the last 11 contests. A Kittatinny High School product, she has been a major reason for the dominance of the UMass Boston defense with a school-record low goals against average and shutout total. One of the Beacons' most tenacious players on the field, she has helped them hold opponents to one goal or less in 14 of the 18 matches she has seen action in.

For her career, Place has played in 34 matches, while making 23 starts. The New Jersey native has 12 points on four goals and four assists and has helped the UMass Boston defense record a 1.50 goals against average.