Defense Recognized As NEWMAC Announces All-Conference Honors

Nov. 10, 2004

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Senior sweeper Ai-ris Yonekura capped her MIT career by being named to the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team as the league announced its awards Wednesday afternoon. A spot on the All-Conference squad was also reserved for sophomore Kat Vater. Both players were part of the second-rated defense in the NEWMAC this season.

Wheaton College, which won the NEWMAC regular season and tournament championships, won all three major awards and placed four players on the All-Conference First Team, voted on by the league's 10 coaches.

Senior midfielder Beth Caromile, who led the conference with 13 goals and 10 assists, was named the NEWMAC Player of the Year, while freshman forward Lauren Konopka squeezed past MIT forward Amy Ludlum for the Rookie of the Year award. Luis Reis was named Coach of the Year for the second straight season after keeping Wheaton near the top of the national rankings all season.

Yonekura's selection was her second in a row, as she was tabbed to the All-Conference Second Team following thw 2003 campaign. Her presence in the back has helped make MIT one of the toughest defense's in the Conference, finishing among the top two squads statistically for the last three years. Vater's nomination came as little surprise as the second-year keeper led the NEWMAC in saves per game, while ranking second in save percentage. The additions of Yonekura and Vater to the All-Conference teams gave MIT at least two post-season selections for the sixth consecutive season.