The 2018 women's lacrosse season has seen one Massachusetts Maritime Academy record after another fall and, with the announcement of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference season awards, a final historic moment was achieved. For the first time in history, a Buccaneer has been named to a major conference award, as Casey Sullivan claimed Rookie of the Year honors. She was joined on the All-MASCAC Second Team by Stephanie Hunt, the first time the Academy has been tabbed twice on the list.
Sullivan had a season for the ages, lighting the record book on fire in helping deliver the most season wins in Maritime history. The first-year tallied 50 goals and seven assists for 57 points this season. Not only did she have the fourth-most goals in the conference, but she also collected 37 ground balls, 42 draw controls, and caused nine turnovers for the Buccaneers.
A native of nearby Sagamore Beach, Mass., Sullivan totalled at least one point in every game this season. Her best game of the season came in the win over MCLA where she tallied nine goals and an assist for 10 points, plus two ground balls and three draws in the 18-4 win. Sullivan set six records in that game alone.
Over the course of the campaign, Sullivan also had games of seven, five (twice), and four goals while twice being honored as Conference Rookie of the Week. At one point, the relentless scorer registered at least a hat trick in six games in-a-row. During the second half of the year, Sullivan became more confident on loose balls, gathering in 21 groundballs and 20 draw controls.
At the conclusion of the season, which was shortened by a game, Sullivan set Academy records for goals in a season by a rookie and by any player, season points by a first-year, and numerous single game marks.
Despite her superb season, Sullivan had hefty competition for the award. Framingham State University's Alissa Marino scored 42 goals and had 10 assists, while Worcester State University's Coley Hayes was a defensive wiz with 50 groundballs, 27 draw controls, and 26 caused turnovers.
However, the toughest competition for the plaque came from teammate Anna Deely, who combined Marino's scoring power with Hayes' defensive prowess and took home her own MASCAC Rookie of the Week on March 26. Deely was third in the MASCAC in groundballs (53) and fifth in draw controls (85), all the while scoring 32 goals and adding eight assists. The Marston Mills resident set three Maritime groundball marks, including most in a season.
It was clear during Senior Night against MCLA that Sullivan and Deely were taking the reins from Hunt and fellow senior co-captain Mikayla Correia. Hunt, however, ended her historic career by joining Sullivan on the All-Conference Second Team.
What a season it was for the Brookfield, Conn. native, who will graduate as the all-time leading scorer. Hunt has established four-year totals for goals (154), assists (94) and points (248) that are leaps and bounds beyond any other. The attacking midfielder went out with a bang, setting the season marks for points (82) and assists (46), the latter more than double her own record.
As usual, Hunt pitched in on the defensive end as well, gathering in a whopping 50 groundballs, at a rate per game that was third-best in the MASAC, one behind Deely. She also gathered up 20 draw controls and caused 23 turnovers.
The four-year starter's top game was in an electric combination with Sullivan against MCLA as Hunt assisted on six goals while finding the net five times herself. It was her second game of the season with 10 points, including six assists, a feat never before accomplished at the Academy. While she had seven hat tricks in 2018, she also had six games of at least four assists to shatter multiple records. Hunt was listed on the MASCAC Weekly Honor Roll in four-of-eight weeks possible this season.
In the seven years that the Academy has fielded a women's lacrosse team, it had previously featured only one all-conference nod, as Kianna Carpenter, the all-time groundball leader, was tabbed to the seconds in 2017.
Sullivan and Hunt were fêted tonight at the end-of-season banquet, during which Correia was named Team MVP. Correia holds all major career goal-keeping records and the two seniors finished their careers tied for the second-most groundballs in Maritime history at 114.
Make sure to bookmark www.mmabucs.com for more on women's lacrosse at the Academy and get the inside scoop on Facebook and Twitter @mmabuccaneers. Plus, check out our new Instagram @massmaritimebuccaneers.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate