GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – Senior Shelby Bourn (Sidney, N.Y.) of the Wells College field hockey team was selected as the North Eastern Athletic Conference Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Year and joined two other teammates on the league's All-Conference roster, it was announced Thursday afternoon.
In addition to picking up the league's top defensive honor, Bourn joins junior Shianne Stokes (Mays Landing, N.J.) and senior Cat Taylor (Jackson, N.J.) on the first-ever NEAC All-Conference Team. In total, 14 players from the NEAC field hockey schools were selected to the list – with only one All-Conference team, all players are listed on the First Team.
"I am so proud to have three players receive All-Conference accolades," remarked Head Coach Kat Heterbring. "I am also pleased that my peers have recognized Shelby as a top defensive player. Never stepping off the field during her four-year career, she has made every minute of playing time count. Her selection as the Defensive Player of the Year proves that her work speaks for itself."
A four-year member of the field hockey program at Wells, Bourn will graduate this spring as one of the top defensive players in team history. The team leader in minutes played since 2012, Bourn enters this Saturday's NEAC Championship game having played on the field every minute of her team's 60 games during her career, making 14 defensive saves.
A senior captain, Bourn also led a stout Wells defense that allowed only 1.93 goals per game in 2015, standing as the unofficial second-best mark in team history. She becomes the first player since Kate McLaren '05 to win a major award issued by a field hockey conference – McLaren was named the Most Outstanding Player by the Atlantic Women's College's Conference in 2004.
Stokes was also tabbed as an All-Conference player. The team's leader in offense, Stokes enters this Saturday with five goals and two assists for 12 points (5-2=12) and is one of only six NEAC players with a double-digit point total. In league play, Stokes picked up a goal against Morrisville State on Sept. 12 and tallied her team's lone marker on Oct. 4 against Wilson.
She has played in 45 career games since joining the team as a freshman in 2013, scoring nine goals and five assists for 23 total points on offense (9-5=23). She ranks sixth all-time in point scoring during the NCAA Division III era of Wells field hockey and enters her senior campaign with the Express in 2016.
"Shianne has done a great job putting pressure on our opponents' goalies all season," said Heterbring. "Her excellent field vision allows her to do things other players can't. She is a selfless player who always looks to do whatever it takes to help the team succeed."
Taylor rounded out the All-Conference selections from Wells. As a senior, she tallied two goals and two assists for six points (2-2=6) across 15 games, remaining only one point shy of tying her career-high offensive point production in 2014 (2-3=7). Posting an assist in NEAC play against Morrisville State and scoring her first collegiate game-winning goal against Ferrum on Oct. 12, she was also one of only two players to convert on a penalty stroke during the season. Her three-game point scoring streak from Sept.12 to Sept. 19 was also the longest of her career.
In 57 career games over a four-season span, Taylor scored six goals and as many assists for 18 points on offense (6-6=18). She currently ranks 13th all-time in career points since 1986.
"Cat has proven herself as a leader in our midfield. She is instrumental in getting the ball up to our forwards and was key to our team's record-setting offensive season in 2014. Her pressure in the midfield makes a lot of what we do possible," said Heterbring.
Wells will return to action this Saturday, Oct. 31, playing in the first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference Field Hockey Championship Game against the host Phoenix of Wilson College at 1 p.m. in Chambersburg, Pa.