WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons University's Meghan Fontaine (Westminster, Mass.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Year in addition to being named to the All-Conference First Team. Senior Ana Giarrusso (Hingham, Mass.), sophomores Abby Anderson (South Yarmouth, Mass.) and Maggie Fuzak (Buffalo, N.Y.) and first year Emily Plummer (San Diego, Calif.) were all tabbed to the GNAC Second Team.
Fontaine becomes the third player in school history to be named the GNAC's top defender, joining Maizy Wagner (2015) and Robin Powell (2016) as recipients of the annual defensive honor. The Sharks have landed at least five players on the GNAC All-Conference team in all five years since the league's inaugural campaign in 2014 and is one of just two schools to make that claim.
Fontaine started all 18 matches she appeared in for Simmons and was a lockdown defender for the Sharks, featuring superior stick skills and an uncanny ability to control the pace of a game. The back was outstanding in transition for Simmons with relentless effort that often resulted in a caused turnover. The Oakmont Regional High School graduate tallied five points with a goal and three assists for Simmons and was a key member of the team's penalty corner unit with a punishing shot from the top of the circle. The Nursing major helped the Sharks post a 2.35 goals against average to rank third among conference team leaders and contributed to a defensive front that posted three shutouts and held opponents to one or fewer goals on six occasions.
Fontaine finished her career as a two-time All-Conference honoree after a Second Team selection in 2017 and has been named to the Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III National Academic Squad as well as the GNAC All-Academic Team in each of the last two seasons. The Nursing major has seen action in 66 contests, while making 46 starts and has tallied 24 points on seven goals and 10 assists in addition to a pair of defensive saves.
Anderson earns Second Team accolades for the second straight year after leading the GNAC and ranking 20th in the nation with seven defensive saves. The center back helped control the line for Simmons and started all 18 matches she suited up for. The Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School product notched a defensive stop in back-to-back games vs. Massachusetts Institute of Technology on September 1 and Worcester Polytechnic Institute on September 4 and registered a two defensive saves vs. Smith College on October 2. A Biology major, Anderson also came up big with a defensive stop to help preserve a 2-0 shutout over Johnson & Wales University in the GNAC Championship Tournament First Round on October 26.
In just two seasons, the sophomore has a school-record 17 defensive saves in 37 games, which stands as the most stops in the nation for any sophomore over the past two seasons. Anderson was also named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad last year.
Fuzak earns a Second Team nod for the second consecutive campaign after enjoying her best offensive season. The sophomore was one of the most imposing players in the league and one of just four players to start all 19 contests for the Sharks in 2018. The midfielder tallied 10 points on a pair of goals and six assists and showed great vision on the penalty corner for Simmons as a playmaker. The Williamsville South High School graduate registered her first collegiate goal on September 12 at Albertus Magnus College and tallied a pair of assists on two occasions. Fuzak notched at least one point in six outings for Simmons – all victories, including a helper on the game-winning score in the GNAC First Round.
The upstate New York native has started all 38 matches the Sharks have played over the past two years and was named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad a year ago.
Giarrusso receives Second Team recognition for the second time in her career with a selection following her sophomore campaign as well. The midfielder started all 19 matches for Simmons and was a good two-way player for the Sharks with the ability to defend and create offense in the middle of the pitch. The senior collected seven points, including a pair of goals and three assists for the season and was named a Captain prior to the campaign. The Hingham High School product fired shots with a purpose for Simmons with a 92.3% shot on goal percentage to tie for the league lead and enjoyed a career day with six points on two goals and two assists at Albertus Magnus.
The four-year standout closes out her career ranking fourth on the school's all-time games played list with 75 and finished with 24 points on seven markers and 10 assists. Giarrusso was named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad twice and the GNAC All-Academic Team in both years she was eligible. The Nursing major also recorded a pair of defensive saves during her tenure at the Fenway school.
Plummer made her mark as one of the top offensive rookies in the conference with a team-high 24 points to rank 12th among league leaders and third for GNAC first year players. The forward topped the Sharks with 11 goals as well and tied the school record for goals in a game with five markers at Albertus Magnus. A graduate of Poway High School, Plummer started 18 of 19 matches she played in for Simmons and was named the GNAC Rookie of the Week for the week of September 3-9. The International Relations major notched at least one point in six contests and tallied multiple goals on three occasions, including two and the game-winner in a 3-1 victory over Westfield State University on September 6.
The Sharks finished the season with a 7-12 record, including 4-3 in conference play and earned the number four seed in the GNAC Championship Tournament, before bowing out in the semifinals.