Astrid Kempainen, Cathy Higgins and Norm Riker Named to NSCAA All-Region Team for Camels

Astrid Kempainen, Cathy Higgins and Norm Riker Named to NSCAA All-Region Team for Camels

NEW LONDON, Conn.--Three members of the Connecticut College women's soccer team have been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Continental Tire All-New England Region Team.

 Senior central midfielder Astrid Kempainen of Chazy, N.Y. was honored as a first team selection.

Sophomore center back Cathy Higgins of West Hartford, Conn. earned second team honors and Head Coach Norm Riker was honored as the Coach of the Year.

Kempainen was honored as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Year last month. She tallied 20 points with a league-best 10 assists during her senior campaign. Three of her five goals on the season were game-winning markers. She joins former Camel central midfielder Christa Thoeresz '05 (2002) as the only Connecticut College players to garner Player of the Year accolades.

In the classroom, Kempainen has excelled as a Dean's List Student carrying the challenging major of biology. She was recently honored on the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District Team.

Higgins played a major role in the success of a Camel defense that allowed 12 goals with11 shutouts in 20 games.  The improved Camel defense trimmed more than one full goal from their goals against average in 2013.

Riker, who was honored at the NESCAC Coach of the Year in November, is honored as an NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year for the second time in his prolific coaching career. After missing the NESCAC Championship last year, the Camels jumped up the standings this season to earn the No. 3 seed. It has been a record-breaking season for Connecticut College, as it claimed the first conference championship in program history and first NESCAC team title in school history across all sports to go along with a program-record 16 wins.

"This is a richly deserved honor for Norm," said Fran Shields, the Katherine Wenc Christoffers '45 Director of Athletics and Chair of Physical Education at Connecticut College. "He has systematically rebuilt our program over the past four years with his tireless work ethic, vision, and his development of a success culture.  We had a feeling that Norm would continue at Connecticut College his track record of building programs and achieving regional and national success.  He is a leader in our department and on our campus and our student-athletes are rising to his level of expectation for their success in the classroom and on the field."