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Farni, Bassett Selected Team Captains at Annual Banquet

BOSTON -- Junior defenders Cori Bassett and Kathryn Farni were named team captains for the 2009-10 season at the annual women's hockey banquet, held Saturday at the Harvard Club of Boston. 

Senior Sarah Vaillancourt was honored as the team Most Valuable Player, while senior Jenny Brine was selected as the Dooley Award recipient.  Sophomores Kylie Stephens and Ashley Wheeler shared the Joe Bertagna '73 Award, given to Harvard's most improved player.  The annual banquet was also a chance to honor Harvard seniors Brine, Vaillancourt, Kirsten Kester, Brittany Martin, Nora Sluzas, Kati Vaughn and Sarah Wilson. 

Bassett, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, appeared in 27 games at the blue line last season and ranked fifth in ECAC Hockey among defensemen with 12 points.  Overall, Bassett tallied a six goals and handed out eight assists for 14 points and had a +12 rating.  Bassett and Farni were key members of the nation's fifth-best scoring defense, which surrendered only 1.69 goals per game.  On Nov. 1 at Princeton, Bassett netted two goals and added two assists for a career-best four-point effort in a 6-4 Crimson victory. 

Farni, who boasted a +11 rating, played in all 32 contests and scored five goals, including two on the power play and one shorthanded tally.  Farni, who hails from Minnetonka, Minn., tallied the game winner on a short-handed chance in Harvard's 1-0 win at Yale Jan. 10, and added another game-winning goal against Cornell in Game 1 of the ECAC Hockey quarterfinal round.  Farni also earned her third straight selection to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team.

Katey Stone, the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey, opened the awards portion of the banquet by handing out the Joe Bertagna Award, given to the member or members of the varsity hockey team who have shown the most improvement over the course of the season.  The award is named in honor of Joe Bertagna '73, who coached the Crimson for two seasons, including the program's inaugural season of 1978-79.  Stephens, a goaltender from Cary, N.C., who stopped all seven shots she faced this season, remains a perfect 14-for-14 in save opportunities in her Crimson career.  Wheeler, a native of Concord, Mass., played in 15 games at defense and sported a +6 rating.  She earned an assist and was +3 in Harvard's 4-0 victory over St. Lawrence Feb. 20, which propelled the Crimson to first place in the ECAC Hockey standings.

Next, Vaillancourt was honored as the most valuable member of the Harvard hockey team, determined not by ability alone, but by the qualities of sportsmanship, leadership and team cooperation.  Vaillancourt led Harvard with 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points in only 27 games.  The product of Sherbrooke, Que., was named the Ivy League, ECAC Hockey and New England Division I Women's Hockey Player of the Year for the second straight season.  She ranked fourth in the nation with 1.93 points per game and was tied for fifth with 1.00 assists per contest.  Vaillancourt, a top 3 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, presented to the nation's best player, was an All-America first-team selection for the second consecutive year and concluded her career ranked seventh in Harvard history with 237 points (106-131).

Finally, Stone presented Brine with the Dooley Award, presented to the member of the Harvard women's hockey team who best combines the qualities of sportsmanship, enthusiasm and devotion to her team and to the game of ice hockey.  John Dooley coached the Harvard women's ice hockey team from 1981 through 1994 and accumulated a career record of 162-115-11. 

Brine, an Academic All-Ivy League and Academic All-ECAC Hockey choice, was named to the All-Ivy second team and the All-ECAC Hockey third team. She was second on the Crimson with 16 goals, 15 assists and 31 points and was sixth in ECAC Hockey with 23 points in conference games. Brine finished her career ranked 10th in program history with 144 points on 77 goals and 67 assists and was semifinalist for the John Wooden Citizenship Cup.

The Crimson successfully defended its ECAC Hockey regular-season and Ivy League titles in 2008-09 and finished with a 19-10-3 overall record.