WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – University of Saint Joseph soccer players Melissa Dodge (Watertown, Conn.) and Lindsey Cifaldi (Wolcott, Conn.) were named Second Team All-New England Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Thursday.
Dodge had been named Goalkeeper of the Year and Cifaldi had been named Defensive Player of the Year by the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
Cifaldi and Dodge were the key components of a defensive unit that allowed 18 goals all season in 19 games and finished with seven consecutive shutouts. Both played every minute of every game this season. Cifaldi, who started every game for four years and only came out for 28 minutes total in her career, was also a valuable offensive weapon on set pieces and had two goals and three assists this season and scored 12 goals in her career.
Dodge tied a single-season school record with nine shutouts (Cait Witham also had nine in 2009), had a Goals Against Average of 0.97 and an .872 save percentage. She was unscored upon in her final 664 minutes, 23 seconds and saved the final 61 shots she faced. She also tied Witham’s career record by starting 42 USJ wins in her career and finished as USJs all-time leader with 32 shutouts. She was named the GNAC Goalkeeper of the Week four times and the New England Division-III Defensive Player of the Week twice.
Previously, Cifaldi had been named Second Team All-GNAC the past two years and Third Team in 2012. Dodge had also been named Second Team All-GNAC the past two years and was named First Team and the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 (before separate awards were established for backs and goalkeepers).
USJ finished 10-7-2 and won 10 or more games for the eighth consecutive season. The Blue Jays reached a GNAC Tournament semifinal where they played a scoreless tie against eventual champion Lasell, which advanced to the final over the Blue Jays in sudden-death penalty kicks.
Complete All-Region teams: NSCAA Teams