Iregbulem, Laino named D3soccer.com All-Americans

Iregbulem, Laino named D3soccer.com All-Americans

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Williams College senior back Nkem Iregbulem (Torrance, CA) was chosen as a D3soccer.com 2ndt Team All-American, it was announced recently, while junior midfielder Victoria Laino (Charlotte, VT) was named a Third Team D3soccer.com All-American. 

Iregbulem started 16 games for the Ephs this season in the back and has been a regular there since her sophomore season. Her defensive prowess helped the Ephs limit opponents to 22 goals this season. She was named a First Team All-NESCAC secletion and a USC First Team All-New England selection previously, as well as a USA Scholar All-American. 
 
"Nkem is an absolutely incredible defender," Pinard said. "At first glance, it seems like it is her speed and quickness that are the dominating characteristics of her play, but her tactical awareness has evolved to a very sophisticated level over the last two years, which, as her coach is wonderful to see, given that she transitioned to a defensive role upon her arrival to Williams."
 
Laino, previously named an USC All-American, also garnered a spot on the All-NESCAC First Team to earn the first all-conference honor of her career. She was the third Eph in four years to be named NESCAC Player of the Year and the seventh overall since 1999, joining Jill Caterer (1999), Gabrielle Woodson (2007), Brianna Wolfson (2009), Sara Wild (2010), Kristie Kirshe (2016), and Danielle Sim (2017). Laino was also a USC Scholar Alll-American. 
 
"Victoria is such a presence on both sides of the ball," Ephs' head coach Michelyne Pinard said. "She's commanding, competitive and tactically savvy. She pushes our team to play with confidence and purpose. Our team knows that she has been a rock in the middle of the field for us all year and I'm thrilled that other coaches have recognized her impact on our team and the league in general."
 
Laino led Williams in points (18) and goals (8) and recorded two assists. She registered 12 points and five goals in NESCAC games this season to lead Williams to the No. 3 seed in the NESCAC Championship.
 
The Ephs reached the semifinals of the NESCAC Tournament and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they won the MIT Regional with wins over Gettysburg and by topping the host Engineers in penalties. In the round of the Sweet 16 they defeated conference rival Tufts 2-1 before taking  being eliminated in penalties by host and No. 1 ranked Messiah in the NCAA quarterfinals.