Falcons Land Seven All-Commonwealth Selections, Ely ROY
Grantham, PA — Coming off their fifth consecutive conference championship this past weekend, the Messiah Falcons were honored with seven All-Commonwealth recognitions. Also, for the second the straight year, a Falcon was named Rookie of the Year, with Becky Ely receiving the award for her strong play this season.
Senior forward Kourtney Ehly, junior forward Juliana Hershey, junior midfielders Kelly Martin and Natalie Ziegler, and sophomore defender Gina Kellet were all named First Team All-Commonwealth members. Junior defender Erica Cann and sophomore goalkeeper Kayleigh Stewart were named to the Second Team.
Ely, a midfielder and defender from Newton, Pa., started all games for the Falcons this season, helping solidify a midfield that graduated two-time National Player of the Year Julie Barton. Ely’s skillful performance contributed to the Falcons’ four shutouts and 22-2 scoring differential in conference play. Her Rookie of the Year award follows Gina Kellet’s in 2010.
For Kourtney Ehly, the First Team selection is her fourth straight in the Commonwealth. The senior collected nine points in conference play this season, handing out five assists—tied for most in the league with her teammate, Juliana Hershey. Hershey earns her first All-Commonwealth selection after exploding onto the scene this year with five assists, eight goals, and 21 points in conference play. Her goals and points totals were second in the conference behind Player of the Year Jocelyn Novak of Lebanon Valley. Hershey tied Novak with four game-winning goals in the conference.
Martin and Ziegler, both junior midfielders, also make their first All-Commonwealth appearances. Kellet is making her second straight First Team selection, following up a Rookie of the Year campaign from a year ago.
The three were mainstays in the Falcons’ midfield and backfield, as the team rebounded from early-season losses in the region to dominate Commonwealth play. Martin also handed out three assists in conference play this year, tied for third-most among league leaders.
Erica Cann and Kayleigh Stewart were both elected Second Team members, each for the first time in their careers. The two members of the Messiah defense proved invaluable for Coach Trapp’s program, as the Falcons allowed only two goals against to Commonwealth opponents. Stewart, a goalkeeper, also collected a 0.28 goals against average as she made 12 saves against only one goal allowed (.923 save percentage) on the season.
Senior Jocelyn Novak of Lebanon Valley collects her second straight Player of the Year award, as she was co-winner with Messiah’s Barton in 2010. Novak become the Commonwealth Conference and NCAA Division III all-time leader in goals this season, finishing with 137 for her career. Her scoring record broke that of Messiah's Dane Chambers '05. Sixteen of Novak's 31 goals in 2011 came in Commonwealth games.
Alvernia’s Laura Gingrich was named the Commonwealth Coach of the Year, The coach led the Crusaders to their second straight Commonwealth Championships appearance, where they fell to Messiah College 7-1. Gingrich’s squad completed a 4-2 record in the conference this season.
A complete listing of the All-Commonwealth teams is here:
First Team All-Conference Player – Team – Position – Year – Hometown – (High School)
Second Team All-Conference Player – Team – Position – Year – Hometown – (High School)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jocelyn Novak, Lebanon Valley