May 9, 2013

Scots Land Five on All-NCAC Team

Clare Nelson-Johnson
Clare Nelson-Johnson

The College of Wooster women's lacrosse team had five of its student-athletes named all-North Coast Athletic Conference when the league office announced its postseason award winners Thursday morning, with attacker Clare Nelson-Johnson, midfielder Ellie Hudson-Heck, and goalkeeper Shawna Ferris earning first-team honors, while Molly Sennett and Kari Martyniak, midfielder and defender, respectively, were voted to the second-team.

Nelson-Johnson becomes a four-time all-conference selection, which includes three-consecutive appearances on the first-team, a feat accomplished by only seven others in program history. The senior ranked ninth in the NCAC with 43 goals, and had seven hat tricks in all, giving her 29 for her career. She scored a career-high seven goals against conference foe DePauw University (April 13) and added an assist for an eight-point game. Nelson-Johnson contributed in many other ways, as she was second on the team in draw controls (47), while chipping in 24 groundballs and 12 caused turnovers.

Hudson-Heck is one of just three first-years to be selected first-team all-conference this year, after she burst onto the scene with 55 points coming on a team-high 46 goals and nine assists while starting all 18 games. Hudson-Heck played particularly well in conference games, especially down the stretch, when she scored four goals in the regular season finale against Oberlin College (April 27), and then scored six times, including the game-winner, to knock off Wittenberg University (May 2) in the NCAC Tournament. She had a knack for score on free-position attempts, where she went 12-for-20, and was also third on the team in both groundballs (42) and caused turnovers (20).

Ferris is the first player in program history to be named all-conference all four years as a goalkeeper, and she did it despite starting just 11 games this season due to injury. Ferris was a difference-maker when she was out there, though, as she led the league in both save percentage (.525) and goals allowed average (8.65), which were both career-bests, and still reached 100 saves (104) for a fourth-straight year, giving her 514 for her career – the third-most all-time at Wooster.

Martyniak makes her debut on the all-conference team, as the senior set new career-highs in groundballs (43) and caused turnovers (26), which both ranked among the top-10 in the NCAC. She helped Wooster's defense hold 12 of its 18 opponents to 10 goals or less, highlighted by a 15-3 victory over Ohio Wesleyan University (April 24). The Scots' allowed just 8.93 goals per game overall, their lowest average since 2006 (7.43), and Martyniak was a big reason why.

Sennett was a first-team defensive selection as a freshman last year, but was voted in as a midfielder as a sophomore, after her role on the offensive end increased. Sennett is still a strong defensive presence, often marking the opponent's best attacker, en route to team-highs in groundballs (44) and caused turnovers (31), but she also finished fifth on the team with 33 points (20 goals, 13 assists) despite starting just 13 games due to injury.