The cherry on top of an excellent freshman campaign came earlier this month for North Kingstown alumna Brandee Thomas as she was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Year.

It was an easy decision for the selection panel, as the former Skipper and current Framingham State standout was named the conference’s rookie of the week nine times this fall, with her first eight nods coming consecutively.

Thomas provided an instant impact on the court for the Rams, leading the team in kills (358), total attacks (1,046) and points (369.5), with the first two figures pacing the MASCAC overall.

She was able to reach double digits in kills 20 times this season, with her high-water mark coming in a five-set loss to Saint Joseph’s of Maine on Oct. 18 when she notched a match-high of 22.

In addition to being selected the top rookie in the MASCAC, Thomas was also able to add a first-team all-conference honor to her overflowing trophy collection as one of a pair of Framingham State players to earn a place on the team.

On the team front, the Rams were able to piece together a 17-15 mark, which included a five-match winning streak either side of the September/October divide in which they dropped only one set.

The season came to an end for Thomas and her teammates on Nov. 1, when they fell in straight sets to Worcester State in the MASCAC semifinals, with Thomas leading all players with 49 attacks in the defeat.

Maguire helps Vassar to NCAA tournament

While she played a supporting role, North Kingstown graduate Madison Maguire was part of a historic season for the Vassar field hockey team this fall as the Brewers compiled their best-ever season on the turf.

The former Skipper served as the backup goaltender behind starter Liz Rotolo, appearing in six games off the bench and making three saves in 75 combined minutes of playing time.

In her time inside the crease, Maguire played her part as a member of one of the stoutest defenses in Division III by not surrendering a single goal, while the rearguard as a whole only allowed eight markers for the season.

Vassar compiled an 18-2 mark this fall, thanks in large part to a 16-game winning streak that was punctuated by the program’s first Liberty League championship, claimed via a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over Rochester on Nov. 3.

As a result, the Brewers earned the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, where they were also afforded a first-round bye before taking on the College of New Jersey in round two.

Unfortunately for Vassar, the Lions put a cruel end to the Brewers’ dream season, advancing to the quarterfinals 3-2 on penalty strokes after the teams battled to a 1-1 tie after 70 regulation minutes and two 10-minute sudden-death overtimes.

Tori Hannah was the hero of the shootout for TCNJ, converting two of her three attempts with her latter tally in the eighth round proving to be the difference-maker.

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