WATERVILLE, Maine – For the second consecutive week, the Castleton University women's lacrosse team is represented by two student-athletes in the North Atlantic Conference's weekly awards, as Kirsten Kruk received NAC Defensive Player of the Week honors and Emma Best was named NAC Rookie of the Week, announced Monday by the league office.
After the completion of the alpine ski season, three-sport athlete Kruk, also a member of the women's tennis team, made her first appearance in a lacrosse match as she started Friday's contest against Worcester State. She collected a career-high six caused turnovers, four of them in the second half as she helped hold off the Lancer offense while the Spartans rallied from a six-goal deficit, cutting the Worcester State lead down to two on four separate occasions.
In addition, Kruk earned four ground balls and did not commit a turnover after halftime as she quickly worked her way back into the flow of a lacrosse contest. Kruk joined the lacrosse squad around the same time last season and started 17 matches, scoring twice at Johnson State on April 20, accumulating five ground balls at Southern Maine on March 24, and causing two turnovers at Thomas on April 6.
Best continues to play a key role for the Spartans in her first collegiate lacrosse season, starting with last Monday's match against University of New England, where she scored her second goal of the season. More importantly, she led the team with eight ground balls, seven draw controls, and five caused turnovers, all season high totals for the midfielder.
Friday against Worcester State, Best notched her first multiple-goal game of the season with two goals, plus she finished with three ground balls, four draw controls, and one caused turnover. For the season, Best currently leads the team and the conference with 23 ground balls, 26 draw controls, and 12 caused turnovers.
The Spartans see two of their own receive weekly awards in consecutive weeks, as Erin Shuttle was named Player of the Week and Samantha Hebb received Defensive Player of the Week recognition last Monday, March 12. Shuttle was also the last player before Best to earn Rookie of the Week honors, as she was named twice during her freshman campaign last season.
Castleton (1-4) is scheduled to play again Thursday, March 22, at Norwich University starting at 7 p.m. The conference opener for the Spartans is set for Saturday, March 24, against Colby-Sawyer beginning at 1 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.