The Middlebury College field hockey program continues to rake in the postseason awards from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). Sophomore Erin Nicholas (Scarsdale, N.Y.) has been named the New England West Region Player of the Year, while the Panther coaching staff was tabbed the Division III New England West Regional Coaching Staff of the Year for the second-straight season. The group helped lead the Panthers to the program's third NCAA Championship in the last four years and fourth overall with a single-season record 21 wins (21-1).
Nicholas is a two-time NFHCA All-Region selection, including first-team honors this fall. She was also recently selected as just the fifth Panther to be named the NESCAC Player of the Year and the first since 2013. Nicholas became 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 was the fourth Panther since 2011 to earn the league's top honor.
Nicholas topped the Panthers in points (45), goals (17) and assists (11) and recorded points in 18 of the team's 22 games this season. She led in the conference in scoring and was tied for second in assists. Nicholas also had five game-winning goals, including the winning tally in the NCAA Championship win over Tufts.
Head coach Katharine DeLorenzo along with assistant coaches Rachel Palumbo, Andrea Way and Lauren Schweppe led the program during the 2018 season to a second-straight NESCAC Championship and the 16th-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers will head into the 2019 campaign winners of 37 of their last 38 contests. Middlebury outscored its opponents by a 95-20 count this season. The Panthers concluded the season third nationally in scoring margin (+3.41), sixth in goals per game (4.32), while they were tied for seventh in points per game (10.95).
During four NCAA Tournament games, Middlebury outscored three nationally-ranked opponents by a 19-3 tally, including a 2-0 shutout in the NCAA Division III championship game against third-ranked Tufts. The Panthers set a single-season record with their 11th shutout and have now won 14th-straight post-season games. Middlebury also became the first school to repeat as champions since Bowdoin accomplished the feat in 2007-08.