LOUDONVILLE, NY – Fresh off the program’s third MAAC Tournament Championship and first-ever regular season crown, Siena Women’s Soccer was rightly rewarded with major conference honors. The Saints secured three major awards in 2020-21 MAAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year Brianna Montinard, MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year Leslie Adams, and MAAC Coach of the Year Steve Karbowski.
Montinard, Adams, and Emily McNelis also represented Siena on the 11-member All-MAAC Team. The Saints’ three All-MAAC selections were second only to Monmouth (four).
Montinard becomes the third player in program history to be named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, joining Tara Sobierajski (2016) and Siena Athletics Hall of Famer Noel Cox (2004). The junior from Hainesport, New Jersey excelled in her first full season playing center back for the Saints. Montinard helped anchor a Siena defense which has allowed just three goals while posting five clean sheets in eight matches, as the Saints rank eighth nationally in goals against average (0.36). She has started all eight matches and registered an assist, while playing 724 out of a possible 760 minutes.
Adams joins Taylor Dorado (2018), Taylor Booth (2004), and Cox as the fourth Siena keeper to earn MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year honors. The Collegeville, Pennsylvania product was a two-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Week (Mar. 30, Apr. 6) after making her collegiate debut this spring as a junior. Adams currently ranks fifth nationally in save percentage (.930), 11th in saves per match (6.67), and 19th in goals against average (0.47). She has registered a 4-0-2 record with three shutouts, and made a career-high 12 saves – plus two huge stops in PK’s – to help lead the Saints to the MAAC Championship Friday.
Karbowski is the MAAC Coach of the Year for the third time after previously receiving the honor in 2001 and 2002. The 22nd-year head coach has done a masterful job this spring, piloting Siena to the program’s third MAAC Tournament Championship and first-ever MAAC Regular Season Championship. Karbowski guided the Saints through an in-season COVID-19 pause, which condensed the already abbreviated season to five matches in just 10 days. Predicted to finish eighth according to the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Siena persevered to go unbeaten in its five-match sprint to capture its first regular season crown. The Saints have posted an unblemished 6-0-2 record overall this spring while outscoring their opponents by an 18-3 margin under Karbowski’s watch.
McNelis earns All-MAAC honors after ranking tied for second in the MAAC in both points (10) and goals (four). Named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week on Apr. 6, the Northport, New York native has started all eight matches at midfield this spring while registering one game-winning goal. McNelis converted the clinching penalty kick in Friday’s MAAC Championship Match en route to winning MAAC Tournament MVP honors.
Due to the unique abbreviated spring season, the 2020-21 MAAC awards were voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches following the conclusion of the MAAC Tournament, and solely featured the traditional major annual awards in addition to one 11-member All-MAAC Team. No Second Team, All-Rookie Team or All-Tournament Team honors were awarded for this spring season, with the exception of the MAAC Tournament MVP which was earned by McNelis following Siena’s MAAC Championship victory Friday.
The MAAC Champion Saints take on Arizona State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament next Wednesday, Apr. 28 at noon at Johnson Stadium on the campus of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.