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Notebook

Bridgewater’s Ledin a junior achiever for UMass-Boston

Krista Ledin

Krista Ledin

Ledin a score for UMass-Boston

Her performance, spanning three games for the women’s soccer program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, was unlike any other she had ever experienced.

Krista Ledin scored 10 times in the three Beacon wins, including all five goals in a shutout of Salve Regina Oct. 14, earning Division 3 Player of the Week honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

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“I’ve seen players have good weeks but that was incredible,” said Amy Zombeck, in her ninth season as head coach at UMass-Boston.

“That’s the kind of week you dream about.”

The 5-foot-3 junior forward from Bridgewater is a scoring machine and a coach’s dream.

In addition to her five-goal outburst, she registered her third hat trick of the season — and 10th of her career — in a 5-1 win over Western New England Oct. 16. Ledin finished the week with her two most important tallies, scoring UMass-Boston’s last two goals in a 3-2 win over Keene State Oct. 19.

Ledin, who paces the Beacons (14-4), and the Little East Conference with 29 goals and 63 points, has scored seven game-winning goals (20 for her career).

“To be recognized nationally is awesome,” she said. “There is always room for improvement. I’m trying to give it my all every game and try not to have any regrets when I leave the field.”

The only regrets are on the other sideline, because opposing coaches have been unsuccessful defending the Beacons’ one-two punch of Ledin and senior forward Tayla Andrews (15 goals, six assists). UMass-Boston ripped off its eighth straight win Tuesday afternoon, bouncing Bridgewater State 3-1 on another hat trick from Ledin.

“I knew we had a great team coming in this year,” said Ledin, a nursing major who hopes to join the Navy or the Air Force.

“We did lose some seniors but we have some freshmen stepping up, and we’re really clicking as a team.”

Ledin arrived on campus with an impressive resume.

At West Bridgewater, she owns school records for the 100 meter (12.6 seconds) and long jump (16 feet 10 inches) and all-time leader scorer in soccer with 148 goals.

Ledin didn’t miss a beat as a freshman, scoring 23 goals with four assists to earn Little East Rookie of the Year honors. Last season, with 26 goals and 12 assists, she propelled the Beacons to their first appearance in the NCAA Division 3 tourney. The program’s first All-American (a third team selection from D3Soccer.com in 2012), she has led the conference in scoring in each of her three seasons.

“She had some growing pains as a freshman adjusting to the college pace, but she found her niche and has developed into a complete player over the last three years,” said Zombeck.

“People are marking her and she still finds a way to get by them and score. She’s one of the fastest players in the country.”

Using her speed to her advantage, Ledin is able to score from both sides. She began to place more focus on being a playmaker as well as a scorer last season.

“I’m definitely focusing more on sending the ball across to get those other players to put it in the back of the net,” she said. “It’s always a team effort.”

Ledin needed only two seasons to become the second player in UMass-Boston history to reach 100 career points. She holds the UMass-Boston record for career goals (73) and points (167.)

Andrews, along with senior midfielders Julie Nutting and Sam Cristoforo of Rockland, are the captains. Cristoforo has one goal and a team-high seven assists, including a crucial setup to Andrews for the game-winning goal in a 2-1 double overtime victory over Brandeis last week.

Sophomore goalie Kristen Spain (Quincy), 28-7 the last two seasons, made eight stops in goal against Brandeis. The 2011 graduate of Archbishop Williams has a 0.99 goals against average and five shutouts this season.

“She’s playing to the level that we expected from her and is just a complete goaltender,” said Zombeck. “She’s very solid back there.”

Also contributing to the attack: junior midfielder Ericka Garufi (Milton) with two goals and three assists, and junior midfielder Amanda Pugliese (Pembroke), with six assists. Freshman KK DaCosta (Brockton) has three assists.

Here and there

The Stonehill men’s hockey team will open its 2013-14 season Saturday night at Southern New Hampshire with an interim coach, newly hired assistant David Borges, behind the bench. Patrick Leahy, who guided the Skyhawks to 21 wins in two seasons, including a 12-8-2 mark in the Northeast-10, resigned Monday for personal reasons.

“Some unforeseen circumstances have come up and I would not be able to give the college and the program the 100 percent needed to be as successful as we can be,” said Leahy, a Canton native who produced six NE-10 All-Rookie selections in two seasons. “When all is said and done, my family needs me to be around as much as possible right now.”

Borges coached the varsity boys’ program at Coyle & Cassidy High School the previous nine seasons. His son, Dana, graduated from Stonehill last year and is currently playing in France, with Evry Peaux Rouges. He was a semifinals for the Joe Concannon Award as a senior at Stonehill as the best American-born Division 2-3 player in New England. Junior forward Bryan Rooney (Canton) will captain the Skyhawks this season, with junior forward Bill Carey of Weymouth serving as assistant captain. . . .

Salve Regina senior defensive back Joshua Burnett (Whitman) tied a career high with 15 tackles and added a forced fumble as Division 3 Seahawks dropped a 47-13 decision to FCS Division 1 foe Central Connecticut on Saturday. Burnett’s 49 tackles are second on the team. He has two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Sophomore Jackie Hurley (Kingston) returned the opening kickoff 22 yards to set up Salve’s first score.

John R. Johnson can be reached at jjohnson49@comcast.net.
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