Three NESCAC Players Earn All-America Honors

Three NESCAC Players Earn All-America Honors

Courtesy of Amherst, Hamilton, Middlebury Sports Information

HADLEY, Mass. – Amherst senior Alex Toupal (New Brighton, Minn.), Hamilton senior goaltender Sam Walther (Gambrills, Md.) and Middlebury junior Jenna Marotta (Katy, Texas) were selected for the 2017-18 CCM Hockey/American Hockey Coaches Association Division III Women's All-America Team. Walther was a First Team selection for the second consecutive season, while Toupal earned Second Team honors for the third time in her career and Marotta was named to the Second Team for the first time.

2017-18 AHCA Division III Women's All-America Team

Walther, who was named the 2018 NESCAC Women's Hockey Player of the Year, is the first two-time All-American in Hamilton women's ice hockey history. She ranked second in Division III with a .960 save percentage and 10 shutouts and was fifth with a 1.08 goals against average. She broke her own program single-season records in all three categories and posted a 12-8-3 record in 23 starts in 2017-18. Walther helped lead a defense that ranked fifth nationally with 1.16 goals allowed per game and a penalty kill that lead Division III at 96.7 percent and gave up two power-play goals.

In 89 career starts Walther set program records with a 1.40 goals against average, .948 save percentage and 26 shutouts. Her career save percentage is second all-time in Division III and her shutout total is tied for second in Division III history. She ended up second on the team's all-time list and 21st nationally with 2,252 career saves.

Walther helped lead the Continentals to a 13-8-4 record and they tied for third in the conference standings at 9-3-4. Hamilton hosted a NESCAC Quarterfinal game for the second straight year.

A 2018 All-NESCAC First Team selection, Toupal netted 19 goals and dished out 22 helpers in 27 appearances to record 41 points. Toupal led the NESCAC in points, goals and assists, and ranked among the Division III leaders in points per game (11th – 1.52), goals per game (14th – 0.70) and assists per game (12th – 0.81). She was also tied for 13th in the country in game-winning goals (4).  

Toupal finished out her career with 69 goals, 59 assists and 128 points in 107 contests for the Mammoths. She helped Amherst reach the NESCAC Finals for the third straight season to close out 2017-18.

Marotta, an All-NESCAC First Team selection, led the conference in blue-line scoring with 22 points (2-20-22) and tied for second in assists. She quarterbacked the NESCAC's top power-play unit, as Middlebury scored at a 27.5 percent clip. The Panthers ranked sixth nationally in team defense, recording a goals against average of 1.18 to go along with 12 shutouts.

Marotta helped the Panthers earn the top seed in the NESCAC Tournament and defeat Amherst, 2-0, in the championship game for their third-straight title, becoming the first program in conference history to accomplish that feat. Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, finishing with a record 20-5-3. The win total marked the 21st time in the last 23 seasons the program has won at least 19 games.