BOSTON - Senior back Michelle Thornton (Gloucester, Ont.) and freshman forward Chiara Best (Rose Valley, Pa.) of the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team were named to the America East All-Conference Second Team, the conference announced Thursday. Best was also selected to the All-Rookie Team while both Farrell Swain (West Simsbury, Conn.) and Sarah Sargent (Glastonbury, Conn.) were given Honorable Mention honors.
Thornton, who was a First Team selection in 1997 and 1998 (her freshman and sophomore seasons), started all 20 games and directed the UNH backfield from the sweeper position. She recorded two goals, including one game winner, and one assist for a total of five points this season. In her four-year career, Thornton - also a four-year letterwinner on the UNH women's ice hockey team that won a national title in 1998 - compiled 14 points on five goals and four assists.
Best, a two-time Rookie of the Week recipient, broke the UNH rookie single-season scoring record with 21 points (eight goals, five assists) this season and she led the team in points, goals and assists. Her point total was the most by a Wildcat since1995, when Kim Boyle finished with 24 points and Tiffany Johnson had 22. Best's season highlights included a three-goal game (against Drexel) and a pair of two-goal games (Dartmouth, Vermont). She also recorded two assists in the game against Albany.
Swain, a senior co-captain, played a pivotal role in midfield. Statistically, she compiled five points on one goal and three assists. Swain, who led the team in goals and points a year ago, was second on the team in assists for the second consecutive season and third time in her career. She finished her Wildcat career with seven goals, 11 assists and 25 points.
Sargent, one of four other UNH seniors, was another solid performer at midfield and finished second on the team in both goals (five) and points (11). She matched a career-best effort with two goals against Hartford and broke a school record in the process, as her tallies 43 seconds apart is now the benchmark for two quickest goals by a Wildcat player. The two goals matched her output from two days earlier against Vermont and gave her a total of four goals on the weekend. Sargent leaves the New Hampshire program with nine goals and two assists for 20 points.
New Hampshire finished the regular season tied for fourth in the America East standings and was ousted in the first round of the conference tournament to end the year with a 6-11-3 record.