Kenyon seniors Shannon Hart (Mandara, Harare, Zimbabwe/Hellenic Academy) and Katelyn Hutchinson (Pottstown, PA/St. George’s School) were joined by Denison freshman Michelle Kabaira (Harare, Zimbabwe/Arundel School) as the Players of the Year to highlight the 2017 All-North Coast Athletic Conference field hockey selections.
Hutchinson, who elevated to the first team from the 2016 second team, was one of the top scorers in the NCAC during the regular season, ranking second overall with 32 points after scoring 14 goals and dishing out four assists. She scored two goals in a conference game on three different occasions this season, which included hitting the mark in back-to-back games in late September in a pair of 5-1 wins over Wittenberg and Wooster. Hutchinson also finished second in the NCAC with four game-winning goals, which included a stretch of three-straight games with the winning tally in mid October against Oberlin, 6-0, Earlham, 3-0, and DePauw, 1-0. Hutchinson and the Ladies finished the regular season with a 12-2 mark in league play to tie Denison for the 2017 NCAC title, marking the program’s third league title in the last four years.
Kabaira, who was also a first-team selection in her rookie season, has anchored Denison’s defensive unit that has allowed just 16 goals through 20 games and 1,432:39 minutes of action for a miniscule 0.78 goals-against-average. Kabaira also contributed on the offensive side of the field for the Big Red, scoring four goals and handing out two assists for 10 total points on the season. She scored three of her goals in league play, which included a two-goal performance in DU’s 7-2 home win over Wittenberg on October 21st. Kabaira was also named the 2017 NCAC Newcomer of the Year as the league’s top player in her first year of collegiate competition, making her the NCAC’s first player since Wooster’s Amanda Artman in 2008 to earn one of the league’s Player of the Year Awards and the Newcomer of the Year honor in the same season.
Hart is making her third-straight appearance on the top team and fourth-straight All-NCAC showing overall after earning second-team honors as a freshman in 2014. In 19 total games this season, she netted six goals and passed out one assist for her squad that posted an overall record of 15-4. Hart, who is one of only two players on this years team to earn first-team laurels for three-straight years, had her top scoring performance of the season on September 16th as she tallied a pair of goals in KC’s 4-3 win at DePauw.
Kenyon senior goalie Sarah Speroff (Euclid, OH/Hawken School) joins a select few in the NCAC with her fourth-straight appearance on the top team, while Earlham senior forward Megan Hut (Tiel, Netherlands/RSG Lingcollege) and DePauw junior midfielder Rose Revolinski (Milwaukee, WI/Univ. School of Milwaukee) are both repeat selections on the top squad. Hut also earned second-team honors in 2015, while Revolinski was named to the honorable mention team that same year. Wittenberg senior defender Zara Tickner (Harrisburg, PA/Central Dauphin) is on an All-NCAC team for the fourth year in a row, this time landing on the top squad after a second-team nod in 2015 and earning a pair of honorable mention certificates in 2014 and 2016. Earlham junior midfielder Maite Turlings (Tiel, Netherlands/Coornhert Lyceam) jumped to the top team from the 2016 second team, while DePauw senior defender Paige Beyer (Bedford, NY/Fox Lane) made the leap to the first team from the 2017 honorable mention squad. In addition, Ohio Wesleyan junior forward Alexis Roberts (Louisville, KY/Christian Academy) and Wooster junior midfielder Erika Womack (Schwenksville, PA/Perkiomen Valley) both make their All-NCAC debut on the top team this season.
Finally, Denison head coach P.J. Soteriades was voted the 2017 NCAC Field Hockey Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career after leading the Big Red to a share of the 2017 NCAC title with Kenyon after the Big Red posted a 12-2 mark in league play. After dropping a 1-0 decision at Wooster on September 13th, DU won 15-straight games to close out the regular season, which included a 2-1 win over Wittenberg on November 4th for the Big Red’s first NCAC Tournament title since 2011. Now in her 15th season at Denison, Soteriades owns an overall record of 169-139 (.549) and has taken her squad to the NCAC Tournament on 12 different occasions.