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Seven fall athletes honored by Division III

Three of the six fall teams won MAC Championships and earned NCAA Division III Tournament berths. Out of those teams, Eastern produced great talent that was recognized nationally. Five players earned Division III All-American honors from the NCAA, and numerous players earned All-Region honors.

The women’s soccer team went the furthest out of all teams this season with an Elite Eight appearance, the first in school history. The Lady Eagles finished 17-6 overall while going 8-0 in MAC play. Ashley Hackman earned All-American 3rd Team honors for the second consecutive season as a midfielder.

Hackman finished the season with 17 goals and eight assists, both best on the team, earning the title as Conference Player of the year for the MAC Freedom Conference. Hackman also had eight game-winning goals while posting a team best 42 points. The senior helped the Eagles post a 12-game winning streak before falling to Messiah on Nov. 23.

Eastern’s field hockey team went 15-7 overall while posting a 7-1 record in the MAC. Two players were recognized for All-Region, while one received All-American honors.

Junior Lindsay Moyer led the Eastern offense this season with 17 goals and seven assists, earning a spot on the All-American 3rd team and All-Region 1st team. She led the Eagles to a Freedom Conference Championship with three game-winning goals, good for third best on the team. Moyer also added the Freedom Conference Player of the Year to her hardware collection.

“Lindsay was a factor all over the field,” Head Coach Camrin Azzarano said. “As a midfielder, she has covered amazing amounts of field on both the offensive and defensive ends. Her success getting the ball in the cage for us was something we depended on, especially against high-level opponents.”

Senior Leslie Messick was a key component to an Eagles’ defense that allowed less than two goals a game. The Eagles’ defense recorded six shut-outs, two in MAC play. Messick was part of the first Sweet Sixteen in Eagles’ field hockey history and earned a spot on the Region’s South-Atlantic 2nd Team.

“Leslie was the foundation of our defense,” Azzarano said. “A strong communicator with stick skills you would wish some forwards could have. Leslie is one of the bravest field hockey players I’ve coached.”

Volleyball finished a program best 35-2 as they advanced to the “Sweet Sixteen” for the fourth time. Two first-years, a sophomore, and a senior were recognized for their achievements.

Nicole Burns earned All-Region 1st team honors and an All-American Honorable Mention. The sophomore’s defensive presence was felt all year as she recorded 119 total blocks. Starting competitive volleyball as a junior in high school, Burns has blossomed into a key player in the Eagles’ system.

“Burns has only been playing volleyball for four years,” Head Coach Mark Birtwistle said. “This is really a tremendous accomplishment for her and an acknowledgment of her hard work every day to be better.”

Mandy Platt, the lone senior on the Eastern squad, ended her career with an All-Region Honorable Mention. She recorded 256 kills, 264 digs, 88 blocks and 46 aces for an impressive overall performance.

“This was probably Mandy’s best season, not only statistically, but she really grew into a leadership role and gained the respect of all her teammates,” Birtwistle said.

First-year Courtney Reinhold was one of two first-years to earn All-American honors for the Eagles; only four first-years in the nation made the national list.

In addition to her spot on the All-American 2nd Team, Reinhold received All-Region 1st Team honors. Reinhold was a force all year for the Eagles: she led the team in kills and was second in hitting percentage and digs. Reinhold was also recognized as the region’s Freshman of the Year and Freedom Conference Rookie of the Year.

First-year Maria Horning was one of the reasons why the Eagles were able to dominate their opponents this season, earning All-American 3rd Team and All-Region 1st Team honors. She led the Eastern team with 1,243 assists, which helped the Eagles post a national best .316 team hitting percentage, dishing out a whopping 10.7 assists per set.

Birtwistle said of his two first- years, “They both refuse to let any play happen without their best effort. In addition, they are great teammates, humble in their successes and truly wanting the team to succeed.”

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