March 4, 2010
CENTERVILLE, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston Women's Ice Hockey Head Coach Maura Crowell (Mansfield, MA) was named the 2009-10 Eastern College Athletic Conference East Women's Ice Hockey Coach of the Year, while Maria Nasta (Andover, MA) was selected All-ECAC East Second Team and Leah Hallett (Rocky Hill, CT) earned a spot on the Honorable Mention team it was announced today by the conference. Crowell becomes the second women's ice hockey Coach of the Year for UMass Boston, following Laura Schuler, who was tabbed the league's top coach following the Beacons' inaugural campaign in 2003-04.
In her fifth season at UMass Boston, Crowell has guided UMass Boston to a 17-9-0 overall record, including 13-6-0 in ECAC play to establish school records for most overall victories and league wins. The Beacons' .654 winning percentage is the highest in school history and places the team 14th in the nation. Under her watch, UMass Boston earned the number three seed in the ECAC East Tournament and has earned a top-four seed in each of her five seasons. The Beacons defeated sixth-seeded University of Southern Maine on February 27, 6-2, and advances to the tournament semifinals for the fourth time in Crowell's career. Crowell's charges overcame a 1-4-0 season start and won 14 of their next 17 games, including a school-record eight-game win streak from January 15 to February 12. UMass Boston earned a pair of wins in the month of January that opened some eyes around the nation, including a 3-1 victory over nationally-ranked number six Lake Forest University on January 2 in the first round of the Third Annual Women's Codfish Bowl for just one of two of the Foresters' losses on the season. Lake Forest was also the highest-ranked team the Beacons have beaten in school history. They also earned a 2-1 triumph on January 15 over Norwich University, which was the 12th-highest vote recipient in the USCHO.com national poll at the time. UMass Boston has been one of the most-well disciplined teams in the league this year, averaging just 10.8 penalty minutes per game to rank second, while ranking 11th in the nation with 3.65 goals per game. The Beacons' average scoring margin of 1.15 more goals than their opponents is the 13th-highest figure in Division III and can be partly attributed to a school-record low goals against average of 2.49 for the year. The Mansfield, MA native has reaped the benefits of quality recruiting classes year in and year out with this year being no exception. Nine players have racked up double-digit point totals, two players have earned ECAC East Player of the Week honors and four times the Goalie of the Week has come from UMass Boston. For her career, Crowell has put together a 73-53-4 (.577) record, including 58-36-2 (.615) in ECAC East play and has won 13 or more games in every season with the Beacons. She is the winningest coach in school annals and has never had a losing season in her tenure with UMass Boston, while continually improving the team's non-conference strength of schedule. The 2002 Colgate University graduate has the second-highest win total of any current ECAC East Coach since 2005-06. Under her guidance, the Beacons have produced 11 All-Conference players and the ECAC East Rookie of the Year in 2007-08. -more- 2009-10 UMB ECAC EAST WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY HONORS 2
Nasta becomes just the second player in school history to earn All-Conference honors at least three times in her career with her Second Team selection. The senior is among the nation's top offensive players with 35 points on 20 goals and 15 assists in 26 games to give her 0.77 goals per game to rank seventh in NCAA Division III and 1.35 points per outing to place 10th among the nation's leaders. Her totals for points and goals rank third among ECAC East players, while her assist tally places 12th in the league. She also has the sixth-highest goal output in school history, while her collection of points stands as the ninth-most at UMB. The forward has been a stalwart on special teams for UMass Boston with a league-leading 13 points on the power play, including six goals to stand third in ECAC East and 11th in Division III, while placing second in the nation with a school-record four short-handed goals. The Andover High School product began the year slowly with two points in her first six contests, but did not go consecutive games without a point for the next 20 games heading into this weekend's semifinals tilt. Nasta, who was named the ECAC East Player of the Week for the week of January 11-17, enjoyed six-game point-scoring streak from January 8-23, where she tallied 14 points, including a pair of season-high four-point efforts. She has also posted 12 multi-point outings for the fifth-most in school history, including a pair of hat tricks to give her four for her career. One of those three-goal games came last weekend in the Beacons' playoff victory over Southern Maine to make her one of just two players in school annals to register a hat trick in ECAC East Tournament play. Her six multi-goal efforts rank her fourth on the season as well.
Nasta was named to the ECAC East First Team last year and to the Second Team the year before. She has seen action in 95 career games, while racking up 125 points on 56 goals and 69 assists. Since transferring from New England College following her freshman season, Nasta has totaled 118 points for the third-most in school history, while netting 51 goals, 67 assists and seven game-winners to place third as well. Her six career short-handed goals are a school record, while her 13 power play scores rank fifth on the UMass Boston career ladder. Only two Beacons have more career multiple-point (37) and multi-goal (13) performances than Nasta as well.
Hallett has enjoyed an outstanding season as UMass Boston's starting goaltender. The sophomore has been named the ECAC East Goalie of the Week a league-high-tying four times to give her the honor five times for her career. Hallett has proven to be one of the best stoppers in the nation this season with a school-record 793 saves in 24 games to rank second among Division III leaders, while posting a program-record .926 save percentage, which ranked 19th in the nation and was the highest mark of any Division III goalie with 625 or more saves. The graduate of Kingswood-Oxford School has also been one of the most durable netminders in the country with a school-record total of 1403:31 minutes played to place fifth in the nation and second among ECAC East leaders and put together a school-record of 483:24 consecutive minutes without a break in net from November 20 to January 8. Hallett posted a 2.69 goals against average, while compiling a 15-9-0 record for the most wins in school annals and the third-most in the nation this year. One of her 15 victories came in a 43-save effort in the Beacons' 3-1 win over Lake Forest and helped her join Nasta on the Codfish Bowl All-Tournament team. She also stopped 42 of 43 shots in the team's 2-1 win over Norwich. The second-year player was even better in league play with a 2.64 GAA and .927 save mark against ECAC East opponents. A former member of the Connecticut Polar Bears junior team, Hallett turned away 30 or more saves on 17 occasions, including 10 outings with 40-plus. She allowed two or fewer goals 13 times, including a pair of shutouts.
Hallett can certainly make the case as the greatest goaltender in UMass Boston history, owning the career record for minutes played (2601:08) and saves (1374), while being tied for most starts with 43. She stopped a school-record 56 shots vs. nationally-ranked Middlebury College on January 20, 2009 and no Beacons goalie has topped her five ECAC East Goalie of the Week awards. Her 45 games played, career save percentage of .917 and four career shutouts place her second in school annals, while her 2.86 goals against figure ranks fourth all-time for UMass Boston.
The Beacons will take on second-seeded Norwich University in the ECAC East Semifinals on Saturday, March 6 at the Playland Ice Casino in Rye, NY at 5:00 p.m.