CASTLETON, Vt. – Led by four student-athletes from the 2018 squad earning a spot on the Zag Sports Division III Academic Honor Roll, the Castleton University women's lacrosse team has been named a 2018 IWLCA/Zag Sports Academic Honor Squad by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association, announced Monday by the national organization.
Castleton is one of 339 schools across NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA to earn the academic award. To qualify, the team must have posted a team GPA of 3.0 or higher for the 2017-18 academic year, which the Spartans easily did at 3.32.
The IWLCA also recognized 639 student-athletes from 189 different institutions on the 2018 IWLCA Zag Sports Division III Academic Honor Roll. Included in that total are four members of the 2017-18 Castleton women's lacrosse team who met the qualification standards of earning a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher while being a junior, senior, or graduate student.
Nadine Downing received her bachelor's degree in exercise science as she completed her Castleton career as a two-sport athlete, participating in alpine skiing as well as in lacrosse. Joining the lacrosse team after the USCSA National Championships, Downing started 14 matches, collecting 20 goals, nine assists, 40 ground balls, 41 draw controls, and 24 caused turnovers as she was named to the North Atlantic Conference Women's Lacrosse Sportsmanship Team.
Katie Feeney earned First Team All-NAC and NAC All-Tournament honors as she was a crucial member of the Spartan defense. Starting all 16 matches she appeared in, Feeney collected four goals, two assists, 49 ground balls, 18 draw controls, and 25 caused turnovers. Majoring in sports management, she adds the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll recognition to her previous selection as a NAC All-Academic honoree, as does the other three Spartans receiving the IWLCA academic award.
For the second straight year, Erin McKenna was voted Second Team All-NAC as a defender, and she also received recognition on the NAC All-Tournament Team as the Spartans won their seventh straight conference title. She started all 17 games she appeared in, finishing the year with eight goals, one assist, 50 ground balls, eight draw controls, and 24 caused turnovers. McKenna is majoring in biology.
Also a two-sport athlete combining lacrosse with alpine skiing, Megan Wood recovered from an illness midway through the season that forced her to miss five matches. Starting with the April 14 match against Thomas, Wood scored at least one point in each of the remaining seven contests, including two assists along with two ground balls and three caused turnovers in the NCAA First Round match against Babson. Wood is majoring in sports management.
The Castleton women's lacrosse team posted an 11-7 overall record in 2018, including a perfect 7-0 mark within the NAC on its way to its seventh straight conference tournament championship. The Spartans will begin play in the Little East Conference in 2018-19.