WINTHROP, Mass. – The Simmons College field hockey team saw seven of its players named to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference All-Conference Team, while Julie Saltamartini (East Hampstead, N.H.) was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Year and Maizy Wagner (Chester County, Pa.) was chosen the Defensive Player of the Year, it was announced today by the league.
Saltamartini and Wagner were also named to the GNAC First Team in addition to Amy Cronin (Georgetown, Mass.), Alexia Malone Oliver (Bristol, R.I.) and Amy Wilson (Falmouth, Mass.), while Hailey Bruno-Moulton (South Berwick, Maine) and Jenna Gagnon (Waterville, Maine) were both named to the Second Team. Junior midfielder Robin Powell (Richmond, Vt.) was also tabbed to the All-Sportsmanship Team.
Saltamartini becomes the first player in school history to be named a Conference Offensive Player of the Year. The sophomore is tied for the league lead with 17 goals, while ranking third with 37 points, including three assists. Her goal and point season totals rank as the second-most in program history. The forward made her scores count, racking up a league-high five game-winning markers. Saltamartini was among the most consistent point scorers in the nation, notching at least one point in 14 of 17 matches, while ranking 24th in all of NCAA III with 1.00 goals per game. The second-year player registered multiple goals on four occasions, including a pair of scores in the Sharks' 3-0 victory over Johnson & Wales University in the GNAC Tournament Semifinals. She currently has a five-match point-streak and assisted on the game-winning tally in a 1-0 win over Saint Joseph's College on October 7 to capture the league championship and earn All-Tournament Team accolades. The Nursing major began the season by being named the GNAC Player of the Week for the week of August 31 to September 6. In just two seasons, the Pinkerton Academy product has already tallied 71 career points and 32 goals to place her third all-time at Simmons in both categories. Saltamartini has started 26 of 35 career matches, while striking for 10 game-winning goals.
Wagner earns Defensive Player of the Year honors to become the first Shark to earn that distinction. The sophomore made the switch to defense this season and has excelled on the back line, helping Simmons post a school-record 12 shutouts for a rate of 0.67 shutouts per game to lead the nation. Wagner keyed a pair of those shutouts in the GNAC Championship Tournament and was tabbed for the All-Tournament squad. The defender has started all 18 matches and has led a defensive unit that has posted a paltry 0.66 goals against average to rank fifth among NCAA Division III squads. The old adage, you can't score if you don't shoot has been a hallmark of the Sharks' defense in that they have allowed just 5.8 shots per match, allowing only 105 in 18 contests, including nine matches with less than five allowed and eight occasions where the opponent has failed to record a shot in a half. A graduate of Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School, Wagner has also tallied three points with a goal and an assist. In two seasons, she has started all 37 contests she's appeared in with two goals and an assist.
Two of the GNAC First Team midfielders wear Simmons jerseys with Cronin earning All-Conference honors for the first time in her career. The senior is tied for the team lead with six assists, including four against conference opponents, which ranked her fourth among league leaders. The Georgetown High School graduate has added a pair of goals to give her 10 points and her fourth consecutive campaign with double-digit points. A Tri-Captain for the second straight season, Cronin has started all 18 matches and her steady play in the GNAC Championship Tournament earned her a spot on the All-Tournament team. In four seasons, the Nursing major has received the starting nod in all 76 matches the Sharks have played, while scoring 20 goals and assisting on 23 others for 63 career points and a six-place ranking on the school's career points list. Cronin also stands third in lifetime assists at Simmons and sixth in goals.
Wilson is named to the First Team for the second straight year. She has helped to form the Sharks' midfield "belt" this season, which has played a big part of controlling the possession game for Simmons. The junior was named a Tri-Captain prior to the season and has started all 18 matches, while scoring a goal and adding a pair of assists. She matched a career-best with three points on a goal and an assist in a 6-1 victory over Anna Maria College on October 17 and has collected all of her points in league matches this season. The Falmouth High School product was one of three players on the team with at least one defensive save and came up with a crucial stop in the GNAC Tournament Semifinals to help preserve the shutout. The three-year player has started all 57 matches the Sharks have played during her career, while picking up 16 points on five goals and six assists to go with five defensive saves.
Malone Oliver earns a spot on the GNAC First Team in the backfield. An excellent one-on-one defender, the senior has locked down the right side of the backfield for the Sharks, starting 16 of 17 matches she's appeared in. The Tri-Captain has proven to be the most reliable shooter in the conference in penalty stroke situations, putting away all three of her attempts to give her a career-high six points on the season. Her stellar play in the GNAC Tournament helped to limit Simmons' opponents to just nine shots in two matches and earned her All-Tournament recognition. A graduate of Saint Mary Academy Bay View, Malone Oliver is one of two players in the GNAC to have at least three goals, a defensive save and a game-winning goal for the season. The senior has started 55 of 69 matches during her four-year tenure for the Sharks and has tallied four markers and recorded a pair of defensive saves.
One of the most steady and reliable players on the squad, Bruno-Moulton has quietly established herself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league. The Second Team selection makes her first appearance on the All-Conference squad. The junior started all 18 matches for Simmons and been a key link in tightening the team's defensive "belt". Bruno-Moulton has been a staple on the right side of the midfield for the Sharks with an uncanny ability to play aggressive and still be able to recover to play the defensive zone. A graduate of Marshwood High School, she has been one of the "Unsung Heroes" for the team during her three-year stay at Simmons. She has started 42 of 57 career matches, while recording 13 points on five goals and three assists to go with a pair of game-winning scores.
Gagnon gets the nod on the Second Team for the second time in her career after earning Second Team honors for the North Atlantic Conference as a first year. The forward ranks sixth among GNAC leaders with a team-leading six assists to go with six goals for a total of 18 points to place third on the team in points and goals. The junior has started 16 of 17 matches and notched at least one point in four regular-season league contests and scored a goal in each of the GNAC Tournament matches, including the lone goal to give the Sharks the conference crown vs. Saint Joseph's. The Waterville Senior High School graduate was named the GNAC Tournament Most Valuable Player for her efforts for the second straight year. Gagnon has 56 career points on 20 goals and 16 assists, while making 41 starts in 49 matches during her three-year career. The junior is tied for seventh on the school's career points list, while standing sixth in goals and fifth in assists.
Simmons has won five straight matches and seven of its last eight as part of a 14-4 season record. The Sharks won the GNAC Championship on October 7 for the second straight season and will take on host State University of New York at New Paltzin the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday, October 11 at 1:30 p.m. on North Turf Field in New Paltz, N.Y.