Three members of the Middlebury College field hockey team were honored when the NESCAC announced its postseason squads on Wednesday afternoon. Senior Grace Jennings (Ghent, N.Y.), junior Marissa Baker (Darien, Conn.) and sophomore Erin Nicholas (Scarsdale, N.Y.) and were each named to the league's first team. Nicholas was also recognized as the conference's player of the year, while head coach Katharine DeLorenzo earned NESCAC Coach of the Year honors. The second-ranked Panthers enter this weekend's NCAA Regional on Kohn Field with a 17-1 record.
Nicholas became the fifth Panther to be named the NESCAC Player of the Year and the first since 2013, while reeling in her initial all-conference selection. She is the first NESCAC player to earn rookie of the year and player of the year honors in back-to-back seasons since Meighan McGowan of Williams (2005 & 2006). She joins Char Clessner (2001), Janie Mackey (2004), Lauren Greer (2011 & 2012) and Catherine Fowler (2013) as former players of the year. Nicholas tops the Panthers in points (33), goals (12) and assists (9) and has recorded points in 15 of the team's 18 games this season. She ranks third in the conference in scoring and is fifth in assists. Nicholas also has three game-winning goals, with each of those coming against nationally-ranked opponents.
Jennings earned all-conference accolades for the third-straight season, after being tabbed as the 2015 NESCAC Rookie of the Year. She ranks second the team in scoring, registering 11 goals and five assists for 27 points. Jennings has picked up points in 11 contests this fall, with a season-best five in the NESCAC Quarterfinals against Colby on two goals and an assist. The forward has been a steady contributor during her career, starting 80 of 82 games and posting 120 points (38-44-120). She ranks third on the program's all-time list for assists. Jennings is also a two-time All-American, receiving first-team honors in 2017.
Baker collects her first All-NESCAC honor. She scored six goals in the final seven NESCAC contests, including a hat trick in a victory over Wesleyan. In the postseason, Baker tallied in a quarterfinal win over Colby, in addition to the game-winning goal in a 1-0 semifinal triumph over 14th-ranked Trinity. For the season, she ranks among the team leaders with eight goals and 18 points.
DeLorenzo picks up her third NESCAC Coach of the Year honor, also receiving the award in 2012 and 2017. She guided the Panthers to their fifth NESCAC Championship in the last seven years last weekend. DeLorenzo is in her 18th year as the team's head coach, owning a record of 283-61 (.822) at Middlebury and 374-125-2 (.748) overall entering the NCAA Tournament.