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Three Camels Honored on All-NESCAC Squad

Three Camels Honored on All-NESCAC Squad

NEW LONDON, Conn.--Three Connecticut College women's hockey players have been honored on the All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Team.

Juniors Julie Beattie of Livonia, Mich. and Katherine Chester of Mendham, N.J. earned first team recognition. Jordan Cross (pictured) of Saugus, Mass. was honored as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year.

A captain and leader in the defensive corps, Beattie helped the Camels rank third in league play, limiting opponents to 1.62 goals per game. Beattie is the second ranked scoring defense-woman in the NESCAC with 14 points (8 goals, 6 assists).

"Julie has been the linchpin of our D for her three years with the team," said Connecticut College Head Coach Kristin Steele, the 2015 NESCAC Coach of the Year. "We are thrilled she has been recognized by the league.  We have needed her to be a defensive stalwart while eating up huge minutes.  There is no question that each and every one of her teammates is aware of how valuable Julie is to this team."

Chester garnered all-conference recognition for the first time in her career. The junior net-minder was among the league leaders between the pipes this season. Chester posted a league best .953 save percentage to rank third nationally and is tied for 2nd in the conference with a 1.35 goals against average.  She notched her sixth shutout in Saturday's victory against Hamilton to tie 2015 First Team All-NESCAC honoree and WNHL Professional goaltender Kelsie Fralick (West Chester, Pa.) with a school record.

"It has been fantastic to watch Katherine take over in the net and own the starting net-minder position on this team," Coach Steele said.  "Her calm and steady demeanor gives our team extra confidence.  We are very fortunate to have such a talented goalie to anchor our team."

Cross was selected as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year by the league's coaches, becoming the first Camel to receive this honor since Courtney Dumont '14 was honored in 2011.  Cross and line-mate Steph Izzi of West Cornwall, Conn. are tied for fourth in NESCAC scoring with 23 points each. Both Camels are ranked sixth in the conference with 12 goals and are 10th with 11 assists. Cross has scored five power play goals to share the league lead in that category and her 23 points are the most for any first year skater in the conference.

"Jordan has had an impressive rookie season in the league and certainly deserves this honor," Coach Steele said.  "It has been enjoyable to watch Jordan's progress throughout the year.  She has put up some impressive numbers and has brought some different dimensions to our team offensively."

While Steele was pleased to learn of the conference recognition for the three players, she did not want to omit noting the contributions of other Camels.

"It is great to have three members of our team earn NESCAC honors," Steele said. "While these are honors given to individuals they are also team honors. Julie, Katherine and Jordan would be the first to acknowledge that their teammates played an important role in their success this season.  It is easy to watch our games this year and see additional players having standout seasons as well.  Stephanie Izzi and Elena Gualtieri (Rome, N.Y.) have combined with Jordan to earn 67 points on the season.  Their line combined for seven points in the quarterfinal games with Izzi scoring two of the most impressive goals of the year. Freshman Paige Michel (Essex, Conn.) has also had a huge impact on the defensive side while chipping in with 11 points."  

The Camels are headed north to Middlebury College this weekend to compete in their third semifinal game in the past four years. They will clash with second seeded Amherst Saturday in a 4:00 p.m. game at Kenyon Arena.  Top seeded Middlebury will play host to fifth seeded Trinity in the 1:00 p.m. game Saturday.

 The NESCAC Final will be played Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and will carry an automatic invitation into the NCAA Championship for the winner.