CLEVELAND, Ohio – Following their second-straight North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, Denison field hockey named five players to the All-NCAC selections on Friday morning, led by senior Lucy Pearsall as Midfielder of the Year and sophomore Michelle Kabaira as Defensive Player of the Year. Kabaira is the first player in program history to be named the Defensive Player of the Year twice during her career, and this is also the first time that the Big Red have garnered multiple Player of the Year awards in the same season.
Marking her second-consecutive NCAC Defensive Player of the Year award and spot on the all-conference first-team, Kabaira headlined a Denison defense that held the opposition to only 100 shots over 21 matches this season, including holding the opposing team to less than five shots in 12 contests in 2018. The Harare, Zimbabwe native also finished with three goals and one assist during her sophomore season and was named to the NFHCA All-Great Lakes Region first-team in 2017 as well as a second-team All-American.
For Pearsall, this is also her second NCAC Midfielder of the Year award, last earning the honor in 2016. A four-time All-NCAC honoree and a three-time selection to the all-conference first-team, Pearsall finished the season tied for second on the team with seven goals while adding two assists. Totaling 25 assists for her career, Pearsall is tied for second in program history for career assists with Keri Arnold (1997-00). A native of Cassopolis, Mich., Pearsall is also a two-time NFHCA All-Great Lakes Region selection and a second-team All-American back in 2016.
Sophomore Abby Scully rounded out the first-team honors for DU, making her All-NCAC debut on the top squad after collecting four goals and two assists during her sophomore season. Scully also tallied three game-winning goals in 2018 and 25 shots on goal.
Earning second-team All-NCAC honors in back-to-back seasons, sophomore Charlotte Godfrey led the 2018 Big Red in goals (9), assists (6), and total points (24). Scoring in six of Denison's final seven matches of the season, Godfrey also recorded three game-winning goals in her second season, highlighted by a game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Wittenberg on Oct. 16.
Junior Charlotte Happel also earned All-NCAC recognition for the second-consecutive season, landing on the honorable mention squad in back-to-back years. One year after leading the Big Red in scoring with 13 goals, Happel turned in a junior campaign where she finished tied for second on the team with seven goals, while posting a career-high four assists. Totaling three goals in DU's first four games, Happel also connected on two game-winners in 2018, both coming against Wittenberg on Sept. 26 and Oct. 31 in the NCAC Tournament.
In addition to the player awards, Denison head coach P.J. Soteriades received NCAC Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time in her career after going undefeated in the conference (14-0) for the third time in program history. After locking down their second-straight NCAC Tournament crown in 2018, Soteriades guided the Big Red to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1999-00. DU finished their season at 18-3 overall, which matched the school record for single-season wins set in 2011 and 1984.