Ohio Wesleyan freshman Barbara Welling (Zeist, Netherlands/KSF De Breut) was joined by Denison sophomore Michelle Kabaira (Harare, Zimbabwe/Arundel School) and senior Lucy Pearsall (Cassopolis, MI/Latin School of Chicago) as the Players of the Year to highlight the 2018 All-North Coast Athletic Conference field hockey selections.
Welling was named both the NCAC Offensive Player of the Year and the Newcomer of the Year after a notable first campaign. Overall, her 26 points and 11 goals on the season ranked her top-five in the conference. Impressively, the rookie scored at least one goal in seven of the 12 NCAC games that she competed in. She recorded a streak of scoring one goal in a stretch of five-consecutive NCAC games from Sept. 6 to Oct. 3. Welling also earned one game-winning goal this season, finding the back of the cage in a 2-1 victory over Earlham on Oct. 10.
Pearsall is making her fourth-consecutive appearance as an All-NCAC honoree which includes her third showing on the top team after being named to the honorable mention team in 2017. The 2018 Midfielder of the Year scored seven goals, including two game-winners, while also recording two assists this season. She tallied the game-winning goal in both NCAC matchups against DePauw, finding the back of the cage twice in a 3-1 win and once in a 5-2 victory. Pearsall and the Big Red finished the regular season with a perfect 14-0 mark in league play claiming their 11th NCAC Title.
Kabaira, who was also a first-team selection a season ago, has anchored a Denison defensive unit that allowed just 14 goals through 21 games and 1,515:13 minutes of action for a minuscule 0.65 goals-against-average. Kabaira also contributed on the offensive side of the field for the Big Red, scoring three goals and handing out one assist for seven total points. She scored three of her goals against conference opponents which included the game-winner in a 1-0 overtime victory at Kenyon on Oct. 3.
DePauw senior midfielder Rose Revolinski (Milwaukee, WI/Univ. School of Milwaukee) joins Pearsall as a four-time All-NCAC honoree this season, while Tiger teammate, junior forward Kate Milner (St. Louis, MO/John Burroughs School), earns a spot on the top team after being named to the second team in 2016. Wittenberg senior midfielder Isabella Wagner (Hilliard, OH/Bradley) and Wooster sophomores, forward Sydney Schuster (Ann Arbor, MI/Skyline) and goalkeeper Katie Shideler (Gibsonia, PA/North Allegheny), elevated to the top team this season after Wagner was named an honorable-mention selection in 2017 and both Schuster and Shideler were second-team honorees a season ago. In addition, Denison sophomore midfielder Abby Scully (Cassopolis, MI/Latin School of Chicago) and the Kenyon duo of sophomore defender Molly Keen (Ann Arbor, MI/Ann Arbor Pioneer) and junior midfielder Hannah Sklar (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park & River Forest) make their All-NCAC debut on the top team this season.
Finally, Denison head coach P.J. Soteriades was voted the 2018 NCAC Field Hockey Coach of the Year for the third time in her career after leading the Big Red to the 2018 NCAC Title with a perfect 14-0 mark in league play. DU won 11-straight games to close out the regular season and added two more victories in postseason play to claim the team's third NCAC Tournament Title. Now in her 18th season at Denison, Soteriades owns an overall record of 187-142 (.568) and has taken her squad to the NCAC Tournament on 13 different occasions.