Seven Corsairs Earn Little East Conference Post-Season Honors

Seven Corsairs Earn Little East Conference Post-Season Honors

Nov. 17, 2010

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Seven members of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team have earned Little East Conference post-season honors.

Senior midfielder Becca Festinger (Greenfield, MA/Greenfield HS), senior forward Stephanie Kinchla (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/Quinnipiac) and sophomore forward Eleanor Taylor (Fairhaven, MA/Bishop Stang HS) earned first team All-Conference honors, senior midfielder Kellie Ann Finn (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/St. Michael's) and junior defender Maille Lynch-Gilbert (Petersham, MA/Quabbin Regional HS) earned second team honors, and senior defender Kate Dorrance (Rehoboth, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) earned third team honors. Taylor was named LEC Offensive Player of the Year, while Head Coach Nicole Castonguay was named Coach of the Year for the third year in a row, fourth time in five seasons, and sixth time in her career (she won it once while she was at Bridgewater State).

Taylor led UMass Dartmouth with 24 goals and five assists for 53 points, Kinchla was second with 19 goals and six assists for 44 points, and Festinger was third with five goals and seven assists for 17 points. Finn had a goal and four assists for six points, Lynch-Gilbert had six assists for six points, and Dorrance had one assist.

Taylor was first in the Little East Conference in goals, second in points, tied for second in game-winning goals, fourth in goals per game and fifth in points per game. Kinchla was first in game-winning goals, fourth in goals, tied for fourth in points, seventh in both goals and points per game, and tied for ninth in assists. Festinger was tied for fifth in assists. Dorrance tied for fourth in defensive saves, and Lynch-Gilbert was second in defensive saves, fifth in assists per game and tied for ninth in assists.

"We are honored to be recognized by the conference for these awards for the 2010 season," said Castonguay. "This is a very special group of young women, and if you asked any of them how they feel about individual accomplishments, they would tell you that it's all about the team. As a coach, you always hope to have a team chemistry that forms between a bunch of good individual players and to me, that's what our entire season has been about. We have players like El and Steph who can rack up the numbers, players like Becca and Kellie who can run the pace of the midfield, then you have a very talented group of backs and you cannot win a championship without them."

Castonguay said that the awards were a reflection on the team as a whole. "To me, all of these individual honors equal up to one big team effort," Castonguay said. "I have two of the best defenders in the conference who weren't recognized in the polls. The sign of a good team is to have a few great players, and the sign of a championship team is to have 11 solid players on the field at once. We have 11 on the field at once, plus several key contributors behind them, and that is what I'm most proud of. I also value my coaching staff--Michael Pallister, Hannah Colestock, Megan Shea and Kylie Treat for their amazing work this season. I am a very lucky woman to be surrounded by such a fantastic crew here at UMD. This team is family, and we are blessed to have so many memories to take away with us from this 2010 season."

UMass Dartmouth Director of Athletics Ian Day was pleased to see Castonguay and the team honored. "All of Nicole Castonguay's hard work has established our field hockey program as the elite team in the Little East Conference," said Day. "She clearly deserves all the awards she's receiving."

The Corsairs finished the season with a 15-8 record, won the Little East Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division III Championships for the second year in a row.