For Peltier, this is the second major award she has won at Springfield. She was also the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year in 2005. This is also marks the first time since Springfield joined the NEWMAC that a women’s soccer player has been named the Athlete of the Year.
Besides Peltier, the Pride had three other seniors named to the All-Conference First Team as Delaney Cantrall, Kayla Thibeault, and Nicole Hanewich were all honored.
Peltier, who hails from nearby Agawam, Mass., battled back from a knee injury last spring en route to being named the top player in the conference. Appearing in 12 games this year, Peltier notched four goals and two assists. Making the most of her opportunities, three of her four goals proved to be game-winning tallies. Her presence was felt the most as she was able to control the midfield for the Pride.
Cantrall appeared in all 20 games for Springfield, anchoring the defense. The Santa Paula, Calif. product currently sits third on the team in points with 13 as she has netted four goals to go along with five assists. She has also been a major reason why the Pride has allowed just 12 goals all season. Cantrall also delivered when it counted the most, netting a penalty kick in overtime as the Pride won in the NEWMAC Championship game.
Thibeault caps off her outstanding career at Springfield with her third first-team honor. A consummate competitor on defense for Springfield, Thibeault had another terrific year for the Pride. As a shut down defender, Thibeault also netted three goals and added four assists for Springfield. To the Lebanon, Conn. native’s credit, the Pride held its opponent without a goal in 10 games this year.
Hanewich was named to the first-team for the second-straight season as the Pride’s primary offensive weapon. This season, she has tallied a team-best nine goals and leads the squad with 23 points. The Smithfield, R.I. native has 90 career points to date and has scored 35 goals in her career at Springfield.
This marks the second time that Gibson has been honored as the top coach in the conference. In 2005 when the Pride also earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, Gibson also claimed the award. Under his direction, Springfield has gone to the NCAA Tournament three times in the past four years. In the span, Springfield has posted a 59-17-6 record, including a 45-11-6 mark in the years it went to the NCAA Tournament.