Baran, Nichols Land NAC Weekly Accolades

Baran, Nichols Land NAC Weekly Accolades

WATERVILLE, Maine – After leading the Castleton women's soccer team to two road victories over conference opponents, Kiley Baran and Rylee Nichols have been named North Atlantic Conference Defensive Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, announced Monday by the league office.

Baran logged 135 minutes in goal and collected eight saves to earn two conference victories. The senior, who transitioned to goalkeeper duties early in the season, saved the only shot she faced in one half of action against Thomas to contribute to the team shutout in a 4-0 win. She followed that up with a career-high seven saves in a gritty 2-0 win at UMaine-Farmington. All of her saves came in the second half as she made a handful of diving stops down the stretch to keep the game scoreless long enough for Castleton to score the game-winning goal with less than nine minutes left in regulation. Baran earned her second shutout of the season en route to an unblemished week with a 0.00 goals-against average and 1.000 save percentage to improve to 6-3 on the season.

Nichols recorded six points on three goals to lead the Spartans offensively. The freshman opened the week with two goals against Thomas, including the game-winning goal in a 4-0 victory. She broke a scoreless draw in the 18th minute before adding an important insurance goal in the 29th minute. Nichols followed that up with the game-winning goal in a 2-0 victory at UMF. In a back-and-forth affair that saw the match scoreless late in the second half, Nichols gave the Spartans the lead with a header goal in the 82nd minute. Impressively, Nichols has registered at least one point in every conference match this season and now has five goals in her last five games.

This is the first time Baran has earned a conference weekly award this season, while Nichols has been named Rookie of the Week three times. To view the full NAC weekly awards release, click here.

Castleton (6-6-1, 5-1 NAC) is set to host Middlebury in a non-conference contest Wednesday at 7 p.m.