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Gillis, Strazzere are All-Americans

By From the Lowell Sun

LOWELL -- Jamie Gillis, a senior goalkeeper from North Billerica, and Kathleen Strazzere, a senior from Wilmington, were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II All-America Teams.

In a season full of milestones, Gillis and Strazzere are the first UMass Lowell women's soccer players to earn All-American honors in the program's 15-year history.

Gillis was named to the First Team while Strazzere was cited to the Second Team. The duo led UMass Lowell to a 12-5-4 overall record -- matching the school record for wins in a season -- as well as a 10-3-2 clip in the Northeast-10 Conference, good for third place.

For the fourth time in five years, UMass Lowell advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where it drew with Merrimack in the first round (0-0) before falling 4-3 on penalty kicks after two overtime periods.

"This is certainly a well-deserved honor," said UML head coach Elie Monteiro. "Jamie and Kathleen have worked extremely hard throughout their careers. It is fantastic that they are able to graduate having been selected to the All-America teams."

The honors are the latest for Gillis and Strazzere, who were also named to the NSCAA East Region First Team and to the NE-10 First Team on Oct. 30. Additionally, Gillis was named the NE-10 Goalkeeper of the Year while Strazzere was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year (alongside Franklin Pierce's Rachel Smith).

Over the last four years, Gillis and Strazzere have led the River Hawks to a record of 41-24-14, which includes three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Together, they led a defensive unit which ranked among 2009 NCAA Division II leaders in save percentage (third, .889, 72/79), goals against average (fourth, 0.45) and shutout percentage (fifth, .667/14).