Contact: Matthew Hart
HADLEY, Mass. – Amherst College's Geneva Lloyd '13 earned her second consecutive NESCAC Player of the Year award and Tori Salmon '15 and Ashley Salerno '14 joined her on the all-conference teams as the league announced its 2012-13 women's ice hockey awards on Thursday.
Cementing herself as one of the most prolific players to ever compete in the league, Lloyd's selection to the all-conference first team makes her the only student-athlete in NESCAC women's hockey history to earn four consecutive first-team honors since the award began in 2002. She is also just the second player to win back-to-back Player of the Year awards and the third to earn the honor multiple times after Middlebury's Emily Quizon won in 2005 and 2006 and Williams' Molly Wasserman took home the honor in 2002 and 2004.
With Salmon joining her on the first team while Salerno garnered second-team honors, Lloyd has enjoyed another stellar season in 2012-13, currently leading all conference defenders and ranking third overall with 27 points on 13 goals and 14 assists through 24 games. Notching six multi-point games on the year, the two-time All-American was especially strong down the stretch in conference play, tallying nine points on three goals and six assists during the team's key five-game NESCAC win streak from Jan. 27-Feb. 12.
A native of Calgary, Alberta, Lloyd also enjoyed a career night earlier in the season, collecting NESCAC Player of the Week honors after tallying two goals and four assists in Amherst's 10-1 win at Colby on Jan. 4. In the process, she became the seventh member of the Jeffs' 100-point club, having since moved up to fifth all-time on the career scoring list with 114 points (43 goals, 71 assists), all of which have come while playing as a defender in 106 career games for Amherst. Her assist total ranks third in Jeff history, trailing only the program's all-time top two scorers, Genny Furst '00 (73-90-163) and Gretchen Bowe '01 (76-84-160).
Meanwhile, Salmon joined Lloyd on the first team after a standout sophomore season has left her tied for the league lead with 18 assists entering Saturday's conference semifinals. After 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) during a solid rookie season, the Batavia, N.Y. native has added seven goals to her impressive assist total this year as she ranks seventh in overall scoring at 25 points.
Matching Lloyd with six multi-point efforts, Salmon scored perhaps the season's biggest goal for Amherst as she broke a 2-2 tie with a breakaway finish in overtime on Jan. 27, lifting the Jeffs over Connecticut College to begin the win streak which ensured Amherst of the third seed in the conference playoffs. In her next contest, Salmon notched a goal and three assists to lead Amherst past Williams before scoring twice on Feb. 10 at Trinity in the first of two key wins over the fourth-place Bantams.
Finally, Salerno earned second team honors for the second consecutive season after the junior co-captain has anchored the Jeff blue line alongside Lloyd. Also dangerous on the offensive end, the Brunswick, Maine native has reached double-digit points for the third straight winter with three goals and seven assists entering the weekend.
Salerno's strongest offensive night came in a two-goal performance during the Jan. 4 rout at Colby, but her defensive efforts have been consistently strong all season. With Lloyd often leading the attack from the blue line, Salerno has been a consistent stopper of opposing advances, helping Amherst post a 657-568 overall shot advantage over its foes and an impressive plus-109 differential (484-375) in NESCAC play.
Amherst and semifinal opponent Bowdoin were the only NESCAC programs to place two players on the all-conference first team while Middlebury joined the Jeffs and Polar Bears in earning three total selections. Bowdoin took home the league's other two individual honors, with forward Rachel Kennedy earning Rookie of the Year and Marissa O'Neil receiving Coach of the Year recognition.
Third-seeded Amherst faces off with No. 2 Bowdoin in the conference semifinals, hosted by Middlebury, Saturday at 4 p.m. Check back tomorrow for a full preview.