Sheridan named NESCAC Player of Year

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: May 7, 2008
WATERVILLE, Maine --- Colby College junior midfielder Kate Sheridan (Hingham, Mass.) is the best of arguably the top conference in Division III collegiate women's lacrosse after being named the New England Small College Athletic Conference Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Sheridan also was named to the all-conference first team along with teammates Jamie Enos (South Hamilton, Mass.) and Becky Julian (South Windsor, Conn.). Caroline Duke (Englewood, Colo.) was selected to the second team for the Mules. Colby head coach Karen MacCrate Henning was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year.

Sheridan is the first Colby women's lacrosse player to earn the Player of the Year honor since the league started having a playoff system in the 2001 season.

Sheridan is the sixth Colby athlete to earn a Player of the Year honor since the NESCAC began keeping league standings and installed a playoff system for their sports in 1999-2000. Men’s basketball player Sam Clark (2000-01), women’s basketball player Sarah Walsh (2002-03), volleyball player Cait Cleaver (2005), men's hockey player Greg Osborne (2006-07), and men's hockey player T.J. Kelley (2007-08) were the other players honored. Kelley and Sheridan become the first two Colby athletes honored in the same academic year.

Sheridan headed into Wednesday's NCAA Division III Tournament game with Eastern Connecticut at 140 goals and 60 assists for 200 career points. She leads the NESCAC with 51 goals and 31 assists for 82 points. Sheridan also led the Mules in draw controls with 67. Sheridan has 171 draw controls, 137 ground balls, and 74 caused turnovers in her career.

Enos, a senior co-captain, has been the leader of a young defense that currently features a first-year goalie, two first-year defenders, and sophomore Duke. Enos leads the Mules in caused turnovers (24) and ground balls (34). She has 83 career ground balls and 42 caused turnovers. Colby is 49-19 over the past four seasons with Enos in the lineup.

Julian, a junior attacker, has been a three-time NESCAC Player of the Week during this season. She ranks third in the NESCAC in points per game (4.13) with 44 goals and 18 assists for 62 points before Wednesday's NCAA game. Julian has 88 goals and 29 assists for 117 career points. She set NESCAC playoff records this past weekend for points (17) and goals (11) in a tournament (she tied the goal mark along with teammate Amy Campbell).

Duke, a defender, is tied for second on Colby in caused turnovers (20) and has 19 ground balls and 17 draw controls. She was part of a defense that kept top-seeded Middlebury scoreless over the final 22 minutes of the game to help the Mules battle back from an 8-3 deficit to a 10-8 semifinal victory in the league playoffs.

Colby has earned major team milestone in each of the last three years with all four players playing key roles. The Mules earned the program's first NCAA tourney bid in 2006 and last year made the NESCAC title game for the first time before losing a tight 10-8 game to Middlebury. The players helped the lacrosse program win their first NESCAC championship this year after Sunday's 14-12 win against Trinity College in the title game.

MacCrate Henning earned NESCAC Coach of the Year honors in her first season at Colby after leading the Mules to the program's first league title. She spent the previous eight years as head coach at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. MacCrate Henning started the women’s lacrosse program at C.W. Post in June 1999 and won NCAA Division II national titles in 2001 and 2007. Henning had a 103-21 record at C.W. Post and currently has a 115-26 collegiate coaching record.

MacCrate Henning was an attacker for the University of Maryland, which won national titles in 1995 and 1996 and finished unbeaten in both seasons. Henning was an NCAA Division I First Team All-American in 1995 and 1996 and finished her career with 78 goals and 76 assists for 154 points. Maryland had a 61-3 record during Henning’s four seasons.

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