Winter recognition

By on April 6, 2005

At the end of every athletic season, the conference to which a team belongs names its All-Conference Team. It is a roster composed of the best players the league has to offer, usually split into a first and second team, a defensive team and an all-rookie team. This is the first time, however, that a team is being made of the best athletes from a combination of six sports: men’s and womens basketball, ice hockey and track.

Five players have been selected to both the First and Second Teams, as well as a All-Newcomers Team.

Each athlete was selected by their merit both on and off their respective playing surface and by their value to their particular team.

This award is strictly a Chronicle presentation and is in no way associated with Quinnipiac or its Athletic Department.

The First Team is comprised of three male athletes and two women. Men’s basketball point guard Rob Monroe, men’s ice hockey forward Matt Craig and defenseman Reid Cashman, women’s basketball guard Krystal Pressely and women’s track runner Carolyn Robin are First Team selections.

Monroe led the team in almost every statistical category and ranked in the top 50 in five national categories. A senior from Landham, Md., the talented scorer was the focal point of the Bobcat offense and should be QU Athlete of the Year.

Craig, a native of London, Ontario, was a key contributor to the Bobcat offense on their run to the AH League’s Championship game. He netted 18 goals in 2004-05, while assisting 18 times. He also led the team with 11 power play goals.

Cashman was a solid blueliner for Quinnipiac and was a key contributor during their 15 win in 18 game streak at the end of the season. He was named to the All-USCHO Third-Team and led all of Division-I defensemen in scoring. He was named Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year and was selected as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Cashman scored 13 goals this season, assisting on 32 and tallying 45 total points.

Pressley was once again the team’s most impressive offensive player, continuing her great guard play from her freshman year. The New Haven product led the team in scoring with 17.2 ppg. She was the first option for a women’s basketball program that clinched the No. 5 spot in the NEC Tournament, advancing to the conference semi-finals.

Robin, a senior track standout, set the standard for what Quinnipiac running should be. She finished seventh overall in the finals of the mile race at the ECAC Championships capturing the women’s indoor track team’s first-ever points. She also set a school record in the one mile and 3,000 meter heats.

The Second Team is made from a roster that includes men’s ice hockey goaltender Jamie Holden and forward Ben Nelson, women’s basketball forward Monique Lee, women’s ice hockey forward Gillian Gallagher and men’s basketball guard Craig Benson.

Holden, who was the fulltime starter this season after the departure of graduated Justin Eddy, was able to shine as the lone starting goalie. He had a 2.55 GAA and recorded three shutouts while tallying a 20-11-3 record.

Nelson, a freshman, turned some heads after missing 12 games in the beginning of the season due to an injury. After his return, the native of Spokane, Wash., tied for a team high 18 goals and finished the season with 28 points. He fired 91 shots for a .198 shooting percentage.

Lee, a talented freshman from Lynn, Mass., came on at the end of the women’s season, recording 11 double-doubles during her first season in Hamden, and seven in the last three weeks of the season. She was second on the team in scoring, averaging 10.1 ppg and led the team in rebounding with 9.6 rpg. She was NEC Player of the Week for the final two weeks of the season and was named to the NEC All-Rookie Team.

Gallagher, a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarin Award, was third in goals scored, eight, tied for the team lead in assists with nine and led the team in total points with 17. She also netted a team high six points in conference play.

Benson who was known as a defensive stopper a season ago, stepped up big during his junior season, becoming the team’s second leading scorer, 12.3 ppg, and was one of the go-to-guys for the Bobcats, playing 34.6 minutes per game. He hit a game winning three pointer as time expired at Robert Morris on Dec. 4, giving QU a 88-85 win.

The All-Newcomer Team finds itself with one transfer, one red-shirt freshman and three true freshmen. Men’s basketball forwards Karl Anderson and Kevin Jolley, women’s basketball forward Monique Lee, men’s ice hockey forward Ben Nelson and women’s ice hockey forward Aimee Whitaker.

Anderson red-shirted his freshman season with the Bobcats after sustaining a foot injury. He missed several games in the beginning of this season but was a pivot force in the paint and one that head coach Joe DeSantis may be able to count on in the future. The 6’8″ forward was named to the NEC All-Rookie Team averaging 9.2 ppg and 5.1 rpg while only playing in 17 contests, starting five of them.

Jolley, a junior transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) CC came up big for Quinnipiac in the paint during the 2004-05 campaign. He led the team in rebounding, pulling down 7.6 per while dropping in 9.8 ppg. Jolley finished third in the NEC in rebounding.

Lee, continued the string of good recruiting by women’s head coach Tricia Sacca-Fabri. She, along with Pressley, will make a formattable inside-outside combination for the Bobcats over the next two seasons.

Nelson, who many did not believe would be able to contribute during the 2004-05 campaign, proved doubters wrong and made some fans along the way. Nelson will replace the departing Craig on the first line and will be one of the mainstays in the Bobcats offense when the team opens the Hudson United Bank Center in 2006.

Whitaker, was recently honored with a share of the Easton Three Star Individual Team Award with teammate Ashley Jaffray. She was a key contributor to the Bobcats’ offense, leading the team in goals with 10. She also had six assists and was second on the team in total points with 16. Whitaker was named CHA women’s Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 9.

Of the 15 athletes being honored, only five, Monroe, Craig, Holden, Robin and Gallagher, are seniors which means the future is bright in Hamden.


About Matt Lefebvre