Three local NCAA Division III women's soccer teams had players honored in the end-of-season awards for their respective conferences.
Given their SUNYAC title and NCAA Tournament appearance, Buffalo State led the charge with both players of the year, freshman of the year and coach of the year, while placing four starters on the conference first team.
BUFFALO STATE WOMEN - 17-1-3 record, SUNYAC regular-season and postseason titles, trip to NCAA Tournament
Melissa Smith, senior - SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Year, first-team selection
Why she stood out: The repeat Offensive Player of the Year was the most lethal goal scorer for a team that won the SUNYAC regular season and postseason titles and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Her 15 goals and 37 points were both tops in the SUNYAC, as were her eight game-winning goals. A poised finisher with both the smarts and athleticism to lose defenders.
Kristin Seiferth, senior - SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Year, first-team selection
Why she stood out: The outside back tirelessly patrolled the flanks, tracking back diligently to win tackles and surging forward to aid the attack. She started a whopping 77 matches over five seasons, as she earned a medical hardship waiver in 2013. Her experience and leadership was invaluable to Nick DeMarsh's team.
Taylor Carillo, freshman - SUNYAC Rookie of the Year, first-team selection
Why she stood out: Sure, Carillo boasted a stellar defense in front of her, but you could not ask for more from a freshman goalkeeper. She posted a SUNYAC-high 13 shutouts, won 17 matches and posted a goals-against average of .44. Even though she stands just 5'1, Carillo - whose two sisters also play for the Bengals - showed a fearlessness and athleticism that gave her a much bigger presence inside her 18-yard box.
Nick DeMarsh - SUNYAC Coach of the Year
Why he stood out: A former Bengal himself, DeMarsh captured his second consecutive SUNYAC Coach of the Year award and third in his 15 seasons at the helm. His intensity and commitment to his tactics helped bring out the best in a team that reached several new heights in the last three seasons.
Breanna Knight, junior - SUNYAC First Team
Why she stood out: Technically outstanding and consistent over a dead ball, Knight was a force on the wing, notching a goal and four assists during her junior campaign. Her abilities to make smart runs on the flanks and distribute made Smith, Hatch and Mammoser even more dynamic in the final third.
Tianna Hatch, junior - SUNYAC Second Team
Why she stood out: When she was healthy and in form, Hatch was a serious offensive threat to complement Smith. Despite missing five matches and coming off the bench for three more, the returning first-team pick still finished fifth in the SUNYAC in goals (eight) and tied for fifth in points (17). A big senior campaign lies ahead for the striker.
Jenna Smolinski, senior - SUNYAC Second Team
Why she stood out: Quietly one of the program's most valuable players, Smolinski embodied the toughness and leadership DeMarsh expects of his upperclassmen, patrolling the midfield with a steadiness and work rate that was infectious to her teammates. Her impact extends far beyond the score sheet.
Catherine Mammoser, senior - SUNYAC Third Team
Why she stood out: A bench player as a junior, the Eden High School alum took a major step in her final year, starting all 21 games and registering five goals and seven assists. Her 17 points tied for second most on Nick DeMarsh's team. Worth noting is Mammoser's role in pressuring the opposition's back four, a trait that's necessary for Buffalo State forwards if they're looking to get into the lineup regularly.
Victoria Colotti, junior - SUNYAC Third Team
Why she stood out: No stranger to postseason all-star teams, Colotti earned her third honor in three years by scoring five goals, including Buffalo State's only goal in the NCAA Tournament. Her tough, physical presence in the midfield - alongside bulldozer Jada Sargeant - made opposing midfielders think twice before going into a tackle.
HILBERT WOMEN - 9-7-1 overall record, 4-4-1 in AMCC, lost in AMCC Tournament first round
Kelly Starchok - AMCC Coach of the Year
Why she stood out: The sixth-year Hilbert head coach led the program to its first winning season since 2006 and a trip to the AMCC playoffs, which ended in a tight quarterfinal loss to Mount Aloysius. The Hawks' 2016 win total matched the two previous years combined and, with the postseason berth, became the most successful women's program on campus.
Jennifer Colvin, senior - AMCC First Team
Why she stood out: Perhaps more important than Colvin's team-leading 11 goals was when she scored them - her six game winners were most in the AMCC and good for seventh in the nation among Division III schools. Colvin, who transferred to Hilbert from UB in 2014, blended tenacity and smarts with a knack for putting herself in dangerous spots.
Why she stood out: Feisty junior defender finished 2016 on a high note, scoring in the playoff loss to Mount Aloysius while earning a spot on the all-tournament team. The Hawks' 31 goals allowed were the fewest since 2006, a testament to Hilbert's back four.
Jenna Castricone, junior - AMCC Second Team
Why she stood out: Goalkeeper Castricone was a major reason why Hilbert conceded the fewest goals in a decade, stopping 106 shots - over six per game - and keeping her goals against average under two (1.75). Her six shutouts were tied for second in the AMCC.
D'YOUVILLE WOMEN - 6-9-2 overall record, 2-6-1 in AMCC, missed postseason play
Terra Juda, senior - AMCC Second Team
Why she stood out: The Niagara-Wheatfield product wraps up her college career with impressive numbers - 21 goals, 63 starts and 66 total appearances over four years. Juda was a perfect 3-3 on penalty kicks in her senior season and shredded Penn State Altoona on Oct. 22, scoring all three goals in a 3-0 win.
Kailee Juzdowski, senior - AMCC Second Team
Why she stood out: Defender out of Lancaster High School played her final two seasons with the Spartans after beginning at Fredonia, earning league recognition in her senior campaign. She was an anchor for head coach Jim Hesch's defense, which allowed a mere 23 goals despite missing starting keeper Megan Dulniak for four matches.
Student-athletes from Daemen College, Fredonia and Medaille did not make end-of-season all-star teams.
Email Ben Tsujimoto at firstname.lastname@example.org