EASTON, Mass. (December 9, 2015) – Stonehill College senior All-America forward Erika Kelly (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) has put a cap to one of the top careers in NCAA Division II history with her selection as the Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II Player of the Year.
Kelly's Player of the Year honor is a first for the Stonehill field hockey program and she is just the second field hockey player from the Northeast-10 Conference to collect Player of the Year honors from the NFHCA. Kelly is the seventh student-athlete in Stonehill history to collect national player of the year honors, but the first since Keith Gill '08 was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division II Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in 2008.
Kelly adds the National Player of the Year honor from the NFHCA to her Division II Offensive Player of the Year award from Synapse Sports. She also collected Longstreth/NFHCA East Region Player of the Year honors for the second straight year and is the first NE-10 Player of the Year in program history. Kelly is also the first three-time first team All-America selection in program history, having been a consensus first team pick by both the NFHCA and Synapse Sports as a sophomore, junior and senior.
"Erika is a special player and Stonehill is fortunate to have had her for the past four seasons," said Stonehill head coach Susan Ciufo, who recently completed her first season in charge of the field hockey program. "Erika worked hard this season to overcome many obstacles, including an injury. Her presence will be missed, but we are so proud of her and her impact on our program. To cap her career with such an amazing honor is only fitting and we are grateful to those who recognized her hard work this season to make this possible."
Kelly, one of two three-time first team All-Northeast-10 honorees in program history, led Stonehill to a second-straight NE-10 Tournament championship and the top seed from the East Region for the NCAA Division II Championships. She was the top scorer in Division II this fall with 65 points, scoring a Division II high 27 goals to go with 11 assists to rank third nationally. Kelly scored a team-high four gamewinning goals, posting five goals and an assist for 11 points during the Skyhawks three NE-10 Tournament wins. She scored both goals in a 2-1 win at Assumption College in the championship, including the walk off game winner off a penalty corner after time had expired.
Kelly, who earned All-Tournament Team honors for both the NE-10 and NCAA Championships this fall, posted the second-highest single-game goal and point totals in program history behind her NE-10 record and Division II-best 38 goal season as a sophomore when she scored a program-record 78 points, while her career-best 11 assists this season ranks fourth all-time in program history. She collected NE-10 Player of the Week honors four times, finishing her career with the weekly award nine times.
Kelly capped her Stonehill career as one of just five players in Division II history to eclipse 200 points, finishing third all-time with 217. Her 98 career goals is a Northeast-10 record, surpassing the previous mark of 92 by Sammy Macy of UMass Lowell (2007-10), and rank second all-time in Division II history. She also finished her career ranked seventh in program history with 21 assists, while her 19 career game-winners is a school record, potting a record ten as a sophomore. Kelly finished her career with 38 multi-point games, including 28 multi-goal outings, in 81 career games played. She has collected NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll status, and was selected to the NE-10's All-Rookie Team as a freshman.
Stonehill finished its 2015 season with a 14-7 record overall, including 9-3 in NE-10 play, before going on to win the program's third NE-10 Tournament crown and earn the seventh NCAA Tournament bid in program history.