Five Panthers Earn NESCAC Honors - Kurtz-Phelan Is Player of the Year

March 1, 2007

Five members of the Middlebury College women's hockey team were honored today when the NESCAC announced its all-conference awards. Senior Abby-Kurtz-Phelan (Denver, Colo.) becomes the fourth Middlebury skater in the last five years to earn NESCAC Player of the Year honors (Emily Quizon '05 & '06, Angela Kapus '03). Joining her on the first-team was senior Shannon Tarrant (Brookfield, Conn.), while sophomore Annmarie Cellino (W. Seneca, N.Y.), senior Shannon Sylvester (Randolph, N.J.) and rookie Lani Wright (Reading, Mass.) earned second team honors.

Kurtz-Phelan, who played in just 18 games after finishing up NCAA play in women's soccer, helped the Panthers post an unbeaten 14-0-2 mark in conference play and earn the top seed for this weekend's NESCAC Tournament. She was also a first-team All-NESCAC selection for the first time in her career. Heading into this weekend's tournament, Kurtz-Phelan is second in the conference in scoring with 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points, well above the career numbers she posted last season (29 GP, 13-13-26). The senior forward's 13 goals put her in a three-way tie for first among her Panther teammates, tallying five power-play and four game-winning goals, while her 19 assists place her in a two-way tie for the top spot in the conference. Kurtz-Phelan is averaging 1.78 points per game through her 18 appearances, registering two points or more in eight of her last 10 games. Kurtz-Phelan sits five points shy of 100 for her career at Middlebury, scoring 42 goals and 53 assists for 95 points through 95 games played.

Along with Kurtz-Phelan from Middlebury is Tarrant, a senior defender. It is the fourth year in a row that Tarrant has earned All-NESCAC recognition, previously receiving first-team honors in 2004 and 2006 and second-team recognition in 2005. She is fourth on her team and first among conference blue liners this season in scoring with eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points over 22 games. Tarrant owns 100 points in 107 career games at Middlebury.

Cellino earns All-Conference honors for the second straight season, after earning rookie of the year honors last season. The second-team selection is tied for the team-lead with 13 goals this season, while ranking second with 30 points. She now has 77 career points in just 53 games played.

Joining Cellino as a forward on the second-team is Sylvester, who is also tied for the team-lead with 13 goals this season. The senior is third among her teammates with 29 points, while leading the team with six game-winning goals this season. She recently went over the 100-point plateau in her career and now has 101 in 109 career games.

Wright is the NESCAC's second-team selection as a goaltender. The rookie is currently 11-1 on the season with a 1.77 GAA and a .917 save percentage to go along with her three shutouts. Her GAA is third among her NESCAC peers. Wright made a season-high 31 saves this year in the team's season-opener.