CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton community gathered at Casella Theater Thursday afternoon, May 3, for the Annual Castleton Awards Ceremony, and among the honors given out were six awards recognizing success in athletics voted on by coaches and staff members within the athletics department.
The Coaches Awards are given to one male and one female who show leadership, a determination to succeed, sportsmanship, and a sense of responsibility to their team, their coaches, and the University. For 2017-18, seniors Kiley Baran of the soccer team and Ryan Mulder of the ice hockey and tennis teams are the recipients of the Coaches Awards.
After appearing in 61 matches with 14 starts as a forward during her first three seasons, Baran volunteered to make the move into the goalkeeper position after the top two goalies suffered injuries early in the 2017 campaign. Baran would post an 11-4-1 record with a 1.27 goals against average and a .798 save percentage with 79 saves, helping Castleton finish second in the NAC regular season standings with an 8-1 league mark and earning Second Team All-NAC honors herself. In the NAC Tournament, she shut out Husson in the title match, making nine saves in over 105 minutes of action as the Spartans won the title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Mulder completed his Castleton ice hockey career by setting career school records for most saves with 2,005 and highest save percentage at .909, plus he leaves the program second all-time in wins with 31. A co-captain in 2017-18, he capped his career with an extraordinary 49-save performance in the NEHC quarterfinal at perennial power Norwich, allowing just one goal until the 84th minute of the contest. After a brief stint in the Southern Professional Hockey League, he returned to finish the tennis season in the spring, helping the Spartans to a 7-6 overall record and a spot in the NAC East Tennis Tournament.
Mulder also received the Rocky Mezzetta Award, given annually to a male student-athlete who shows determination and desire while still being coachable. In addition to his exploits on the ice and the tennis court, Mulder has worked with Right to Play on campus, Rutland Amateur Hockey Association (RAHA), the learn to skate program, and Rutland High School. He is the club president for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and ran a video call this past season with 20 junior hockey players to offer them a chance to talk about the ups and downs of their seasons.
Amanda Beatty of the basketball team was another double award winner, as she accepted both the Mary Ellen Evans Award, given annually to an outstanding female student-athlete who has played four years in one sport while also providing service to the college community, and the John Young Award, given annually to a male or female basketball player with a possible interest in coaching. Beatty earned First Team All-NAC honors for the second straight year after averaging 11.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game to lead the Spartans to the NAC regular season title and a 21-5 overall record.
The Sharon Brown Memorial Award is given annually to a female student-athlete who relates well to her peers, shows leadership, achieves academically, and serves the community. Senior Nadine Downing of the alpine ski and lacrosse teams set a goal of skiing in the postseason for the first time since her freshman year and achieved it, finishing 16th in the giant slalom at regionals and helping her team post their best-ever result at the USCSA National Championships. She immediately moved into the starting lineup for lacrosse and led the Spartans to their seventh straight undefeated conference season and the NAC Tournament title game.