2016 NAC East Field Hockey All-Conference: Arno, Jones, Smith & Spahr Earn Top Honors
UMaine-Farmington junior Emmah Spahr (Winthrop, Maine) has been selected as the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) East Division Field Hockey Player of the Year, while Husson senior Whitney Arno (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year. Colby-Sawyer freshman Alie Jones (Cape Neddick, Maine) earned Rookie of the Year honors, UMaine-Farmington senior Patty Smith (Gorham, Maine) was voted as the Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year, the Beavers head coach, Cyndi Pratt, was chosen as the Coach of the Year and six field hockey student-athletes were selected to the Sportsmanship Team to headline the 2016 All-Conference announcement.
NAC All-Conference selections are determined by a vote of the conference coaches.
Spahr has had a tremendous junior year with the Beavers. Against conference opponents, the forward topped the league in both goals (8) and points (16). She also landed in a tie at the top for game-winning goals (2) and in the top-two in both shots (22) and shots on goal (16). Spahr scored at least one goal in each conference game, including a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Husson and the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Colby-Sawyer. In the most recent NCAA statistical rankings, she sits in 10th with 1.29 goals per game and in 22nd with 2.57 points per game. The junior's 18 goals so far this season place her one score short of the all-time single season record at UMF which has stood since 1995.
Arno has been solid for a Husson defense that has only allowed seven goals and tallied a 1.40 goals against average in conference action, both of which are good for second overall in the league. The Eagles only allowed eight or less shots on goal against all conference opponents, including two games in which the defense only allowed two or less shots on goal. The senior recorded two defensive saves against league opponents this season, which tied her for first in the NAC East. In the most recent national rankings, her previous six overall defensive saves ranked her 26th in all of Division III, she has since tallied another defensive save. Against nationally-ranked Bowdoin, she tied the single-game record for defensive saves with three, helping limit the Polar Bears' to only two goals, the lowest goal total in Husson program history. In her career, she has played in 55 of Husson's 67 games and is currently tied for the most career defensive saves as an Eagle with 12.
Jones has enjoyed a phenomenal first season with the Chargers. In conference play, the rookie finished the season ranked in the top ten in goals (4, T3rd), game-winning goals (1, T4th), points (8, T8th), and shots on goal (9, T10th). Her NAC East game-winner came in a big 2-1 win over Thomas with less than three minutes to play. Overall this season, Jones has found the back of the cage 15 times, assisted on four goals, and posted three game winners for a total of 34 points. In just her first collegiate season, she holds the single-season record for both points and goals at Colby-Sawyer. In the nation, the freshman currently ranks 34th with 0.94 goals per game and 48th with 2.13 points per game. She was selected NAC East Rookie of the Week six times and was named ECAC Rookie of the Week once this season.
Smith is being recognized for excelling both academically and athletically throughout her undergraduate experience. Impressively, the senior is double majoring in Outdoor Recreation Business Administration and International & Global Studies, while also earning a minor in Environmental Studies upon graduation in the spring of 2017. Taking advantage of all of her opportunities as a student, she spent one semester in New Zealand to further develop her diverse learning experience. Smith has been named an NFHCA Scholar of Distinction for the past three years and is in line to receive that award again this year. On the field, she has been an outstanding goalkeeper and leader. This season, Smith topped the NAC East with a league-best 4-1 record, a low 1.20 goals against average and two shutouts, while also recording 22 saves and a .786 save percentage in conference action. The 2015 NAC Defensive Player of the Year has been named NAC Defensive Player of the Week ten times in her three year career at UMF and has recorded an impressive 10 shutouts.
Pratt, now a two-time Coach of the Year (Co-Coach in 2006), has directed her team to another postseason appearance by claiming the No. 1 seed in the 2016 NAC East Tournament. The Beavers have competed in the NAC Tournament every year since 2002 and have most recently competed in the championship game the last two seasons. Against conference opponents, UMF finished the 2016 season ranked in the top-two in five statistical categories including goals (14, T1st), goals per game (2.8, T1st), goals against (6, 1st), goals against average (1.20, 1st), and save percentage (.786, 2nd). According to the most recent NCAA Division III rankings, the Beavers are in the top-50 in six categories including 25th in shutouts per game (0.36), 36th in winning percentage (.714), scoring average (3.14), and goals per game (3.14), 42nd in scoring margin (1.43) and 46th in points per game (7.93). Pratt has recorded 143 wins throughout her career.
Joining Jones and Spahr as All-Conference forwards were juniors Emily Lowell (Brandon, Vt.) from Castleton and Lauren Russell (Saco, Maine) from Husson.
Colby-Sawyer senior Allyse Mullen (Wilder, Vt.), Husson junior Mikayla Toth (Skowhegan, Maine) and Thomas sophomore Katie Taylor (Lebanon, Maine) were honored as All-Conference midfielders.
All-Conference defender selections included Arno, Colby-Sawyer junior Jesse Murch (Poland, Maine), and UMaine-Farmington junior Lee-Anne Greenleaf (Gardiner, Maine).
Smith was honored as the All-Conference goalkeeper.
The NAC East Field Hockey Sportsmanship Team is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the field hockey culture and environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity that go beyond the playing rules and etiquette. The following six individuals have been selected to the 2016 Sportsmanship Team, Castleton junior Cassidy Auger (Bomoseen, Vt.), Colby-Sawyer sophomore Jordan Teixeira (Exeter, N.H.), UMaine-Farmington senior Emily Lewia (Wells, Maine), Husson senior Mary St. Cyr (Dedham, Mass.), New England College senior Carissa O'Brien (Johnstown, N.Y.), and Thomas' Taylor.
2016 NAC East All-Conference Team
To view a PDF list of the All-Conference team click HERE.
F - Alie Jones, Freshman, Colby-Sawyer
F - Emily Lowell, Junior, Castleton
F - Lauren Russell, Junior, Husson
F - Emmah Spahr, Junior, UMaine-Farmington
M - Allyse Mullen, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
M - Katie Taylor, Sophomore, Thomas
M - Mikayla Toth, Junior, Husson
D - Whitney Arno, Senior, Husson
D - Lee-Anne Greenleaf, Junior UMaine-Farmington
D - Jesse Murch, Junior, Colby-Sawyer
GK - Patty Smith, Senior, UMaine-Farmington
Player of the Year - Emmah Spahr, UMaine-Farmington
Defensive Player of the Year - Whitney Arno, Husson
Rookie of the Year - Alie Jones, Colby-Sawyer
Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year - Patty Smith, UMaine-Farmington
Coach of the Year - Cyndi Pratt, UMaine-Farmington
Cassidy Auger, Junior, Castleton
Emily Lewia, Senior, UMaine-Farmington
Carissa O'Brien, Senior, New England College
Mary St. Cyr, Senior, Husson
Katie Taylor, Sophomore, Thomas
Jordan Teixeira, Sophomore, Colby-Sawyer