WATERVILLE, Maine – After completing its seventh consecutive unbeaten North Atlantic Conference season to win the league's regular season title, Castleton University has placed eight players on the various All-NAC women's lacrosse postseason teams based on voting by the conference coaches, announced Thursday by the league office.
Four Spartans received First Team All-NAC honors, led by senior attacker Emily Cross, currently the team leader with 39 assists and 82 total points to go along with 43 goals, second on the squad. Cross is only three assists away from matching the Castleton single-season assists record of 42 set by Nicole Adams in 2009. She also became the first Spartan to collect at least 10 points in two separate matches in one season, earning four goals and seven assists for 11 points against Colby-Sawyer on March 24 and three goals and seven assists for 10 points against Lyndon on April 19.
Fellow attacker Erin Shuttle leads Castleton with 51 goals, fourth in the conference in that category. After breaking through as a freshman with seven goals in last year's NAC Tournament championship match, the sophomore has notched 10 hat tricks so far this season, including in each of the last five games, all against conference opponents. In the regular season finale at New England College, Shuttle scored a season-high six goals while dishing out a career-high four assists for 10 total points, the fourth 10-point performance by a Spartan this year.
Junior defender Katie Feeney also received First Team All-NAC recognition after helping the Spartans hold their conference opponents to 4.57 goals per game. Feeney finished the regular season second on the team with 22 caused turnovers and 44 ground balls to go along with four goals and two assists. Against Maine Maritime on March 31, Feeney caused seven turnovers and collected five ground balls, plus she scored a goal and earned one assist. She has caused at least one turnover in eight of the last nine games.
Sophomore midfielder Emma Best has made an immediate impact in her first season with the Spartans. The three-time NAC Rookie of the Week is third in the conference with 31 caused turnovers and 56 ground balls as well as fourth in the league with 73 draw controls. She has started all 15 matches for Castleton, earning 19 goals and five assists for 24 total points. Best has posted seven multiple-goal performances, including in six of the last seven games. She earned her first career hat trick on April 7 at Husson, and then repeated that feat in the next contest against Thomas on April 14.
Three other Spartans earned Second Team All-NAC recognition. Senior attacker Hannah Braman is second on the team with 21 assists and third on the squad with 33 goals and 54 total points. Braman has scored at least two goals in 11 of 15 matches so far this year, highlighted by a six-goal performance against Colby-Sawyer on March 24. She also finished with four goals and six assists for 10 points on April 19 against Lyndon.
Junior defender Erin McKenna received Second Team All-NAC honors for the second straight season after causing 16 turnovers and collecting 38 ground balls during the 2018 regular season. McKenna caused seven turnovers during Castleton's 17-9 victory over Colby-Sawyer on March 24, plus she notched a hat trick with three goals against Thomas on April 14.
Samantha Hebb has been Castleton's starting goalie for the past two seasons, earning Second Team All-NAC recognition after posting a 9.72 goals against average and a .463 save percentage with 107 total saves. Hebb earned more than 10 saves five times this season, including a 15-save performance against Southern Maine on March 10. On April 21, she made eight saves at Maine-Farmington while allowing just two goals for a .800 save percentage, the highest single-game percentage in her career when facing at least 10 shots on goal.
Senior midfielder Nadine Downing was named to the NAC Women's Lacrosse Sportsmanship Team, reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the lacrosse culture and environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity that go beyond the playing rules and etiquette.
Colby-Sawyer College swept the major awards, winning Player of the Year (Nicole Lavigne), Defensive Player of the Year (Kailyn Lapham), Rookie of the Year (Briana Couture), and Coach of the Year (Emily Hoar). To view the entire conference press release, click here.
Castleton (9-6, 7-0 NAC) will host a NAC Tournament semifinal Sunday, April 29, at Spartan Stadium at 1 p.m. against the winner of the April 27 quarterfinal contest between fourth seed Husson and fifth seed Maine Maritime. If the Spartans win, they will also host the tournament title game Saturday, May 5.