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Little East Announces Women's Basketball Major Awards & All-Conference Teams

Little East Announces Women's Basketball Major Awards & All-Conference Teams

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – UMass Dartmouth sophomore Megan Ronaghan (North Attleboro, Mass.) became the second Corsair in program history to earn Player of the Year honors on Tuesday as the Little East Conference announced its 2015 Women’s Basketball Major Awards and All-Conference teams. Additionally for the Corsairs, head coach Matt Ducharme became the program’s second recipient of the Coach of the Year award and the first since 1988. Eastern Connecticut senior Taylor McBride (Willimantic, Conn.) was selected as Defensive Player of the Year, while UMass Boston’s Grace Geary (Falmouth, Mass.) earned Rookie of the Year accolades. 

In addition to the Major Award winners, 14 student-athletes were named to the league’s All-Conference teams as voted up on by the eight head coaches. Five players along with Ronaghan were selected as First Team All-Conference, while four in addition to Geary were named to the Second Team. Five including McBride were named All-Defensive, with four freshmen and Geary earning All-Rookie honors. 

Ronaghan is the second UMD player to be named Player of the Year in the past three seasons, succeeding Colleen Moriarty who earned the honor in 2013. The forward was the league’s top scorer this season, averaging 17.7 points per game and eclipsing the 20-point mark in 11 contests. Her top scoring performance came on Nov. 25 as she dropped 33 points against Salve Regina, converting 16 field goals. Accuracy was a staple for Ronaghan this year as she ranked second in the conference with a 52% season field goal percentage. In the paint, she led the Corsairs with 6.9 rebounds per outing, which sits eighth in the league, and was also a skilled blocker, knocking down 25 shots on the season. Ronaghan was tabbed Player of the Week twice this season, and earns the second major award on her young career after being selected as Rookie of the Year in 2014. 

McBride led the conference’s top defensive squad this season in Eastern Connecticut.  The Warriors have allowed only 48.9 points per game on average from opponents thus far, which is good for fifth in Division III.  In three-point field goal defense, ECSU paces the nation, holding opponents to a mere 21.3 percent from long range. The senior has been a catalyst in the backcourt, topping her team with 44 steals on the season (1.6 per game) and consistently shut down some of the league’s top-scoring guards. McBride was also a creator on offense, leading her team with 4.3 assists per game, good for second overall in the Little East. She is making her third appearance on the All-Defensive Team. 

Geary became the latest Rookie of the Year recipient on UMass Boston’s roster, joining teammates Olivia Murphy and Kirsten Morrison as an honoree. As the Beacons’ floor general, she was nothing short of outstanding, ranking in the top five in the conference in scoring (14.1 points per game), assists (3.7 per game), steals (2.4 per game) and three-point field goals made (2 per game). A Falmouth, Mass. native, her top performances came at the most crucial times, including a 28-point, six-assist and four-steal outing against UMass Dartmouth on Jan. 20. During the Beacons’ first-ever appearances in the Little East semifinals and Championship, Geary averaged 20.5 points and hit a three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining in the title game to clinch overtime. She was a four-time Rookie of the Week winner on the season. 

In his first year as head coach of UMass Dartmouth, Matt Ducharme helped to set a new standard in Corsair women’s basketball. UMD saw the best season in program history, closing with a 19-8 overall record and 10-4 league slate to earn a share of the program’s first-ever Little East regular season title. Ducharme’s squad was the top scoring offense in the league, recording an average of 68.1 points per game, and was also the top team from three-point land at 35 percent. The Corsairs earned several key win, including the program’s first-ever victory at Southern Maine on Jan. 10 and a home win over Eastern Connecticut on Feb. 14. In the Little East tournament, UMD advanced to the semifinals as the No. 2 seed before falling to UMass Boston. Ducharme becomes the first coach in the program to earn Coach of the Year since Judy Sullivan in 1988, when UMD was known as Southeastern Massachusetts. 

Formed in 1986, the Little East serves as New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. Featuring 19 championship sports, the Little East sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes. Our eight state colleges and universities dedicate themselves to an ongoing fulfillment of the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship, and citizenship.

2015 Women's Basketball Major Awards and All-Conference Teams

Player of the Year
Megan Ronaghan So. UMass Dartmouth North Attleboro, Mass.
Defensive Player of the Year
Taylor McBride Sr. Eastern Connecticut Willimantic, Conn.
Rookie of the Year
Grace Geary Fr. UMass Boston Falmouth, Mass.
Coach of the Year
Matt Ducharme   UMass Dartmouth  
First Team 
Jill Ritrosky Jr. Eastern Connecticut Pittsfield, Mass.
Olivia Murphy Jr. UMass Boston Canton, Mass.
Kelsey Garrity Sr. UMass Dartmouth Somerset, Mass.
Megan Ronaghan So. UMass Dartmouth North Attleboro, Mass.
Megan Pelletier Jr. Southern Maine Winslow, Maine
Caroline Brasa Sr. Western Connecticut East Hartford, Conn.
Second Team
Grace Geary Fr. UMass Boston Falmouth, Mass.
Kirsten Morrison Sr. UMass Boston North Reading, Mass.
Kelsey Cognetta Jr. Keene State Stamford, Conn.
Christan Wojtas Sr. Keene State Amherst, N.H.
Alex Moore So. Rhode Island College Newbury, Mass.
All-Defensive Team
Taylor McBride Sr. Eastern Connecticut Willimantic, Conn.
Jill Ritrosky Jr. Eastern Connecticut Pittsfield, Mass.
Stephanie D'Annolfo So. Keene State Tyngsborough, Mass.
Kelsey Garrity Sr. UMass Dartmouth Somerset, Mass.
Jess Korzec Fr. Rhode Island College West Brookfield, Mass.
All-Rookie Team
Grace Geary Fr. UMass Boston Falmouth, Mass.
Sandi Purcell Fr. Keene State Hudson, N.H.
Alicia Kutil Fr. UMass Dartmouth Franklin, Mass.
Jess Korzec Fr. Rhode Island College West Brookfield, Mass.
Kaitlyn LaBonte Fr. Western Connecticut South Windsor, Conn.