In a season that included 13 victories and a sixth straight trip to the Landmark Conference championship match, there was no shortage of standout performances for The University of Scranton women's soccer team. The Landmark Conference's coaches recognized that, voting five Royals to the all-conference team, led by senior Jasmine Sconciafurno (Woodland Park, N.J./Passaic Valley), who was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Joining Sconciafurno on the first team are junior forward Kelsey Bacon (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus), junior midfielder Christina Akalski (Long Beach, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) and junior goalkeeper Krissy Welsh (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven). Senior forward Gianna Vitolo (Denville, N.J./Morris Knolls) was named to the second team.
Sconciafurno becomes the fourth player in Scranton history to earn Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors, joining Laura Gibbons (2007), Caitlin Byrne (2010) and Erin Casey (2013). Sconciafurno was the anchor on a back line that helped the Royals post 12 shutouts and hold opponents to just 12 goals all season, a 0.63 goals per game average. She scored her first career goal early in the season and was a big reason Scranton allowed just four goals in seven regular season conference games.
The first-team honor is the second straight for Sconciafurno, and she was also a second-team selection in 2013.
Bacon was a consistent threat up front for the Royals, finishing the season with five goals, including three match-winners, and finishing tied for second on the team in shots with 35. She scored twice in a 3-0 victory at Juniata on Oct. 2, and had the only goal of the match in a 1-0 victory at Drew on Oct. 14. This is the first all-conference honor for Bacon, who now has 19 career goals, including nine game-winners.
Akalski facilitated the Royals' offense from her midfield position, with the ball at her feet on nearly every attack all season long. She finished the season with four goals and one assist, including three goals against Landmark foes, and led the team in shots with 41. She scored twice in a 3-0 win over Susquehanna on Sept. 26, and had a goal in this past Saturday's conference championship match at Catholic.
Akalski, who has 16 goals and six assists in her career, has now been named first-team all-Landmark Conference in each of her three seasons.
Welsh had an impressive season in goal, finishing with 11 shutouts, tied for seventh-most in a single season in Scranton history. She finished the season with a 0.65 goals-against average, easily the best mark in the conference. She played every minute in goal against Landmark Conference opponents, allowing just seven goals in nine matches, including playoffs.
Welsh, who now has 16 career shutouts (tied for seventh in program history) and a 0.71 career goals-against average (tied for third in program history), picked up her first all-conference honor.
Vitolo was a speedy threat on the wing for the Royals, finishing the season with four goals and three assists. Three of her goals came in conference play, as she scored in a 3-0 win over Susquehanna (Sept. 26), a 2-1 win at Goucher (Oct. 10) when she scored the game-winner, and a 3-2 loss to Catholic (Oct. 17).
Vitolo, who finishes her career with 18 goals and 14 assists for 50 points, picked up her first all-conference honor.
The five all-conference honorees are the most for the Royals since they had six in 2013. Scranton finished the season 13-4-2, a year that included the 100th career victory for head coach Colleen Pivirotto.
To see the entire All-Landmark Conference Women's Soccer Team, click here.