Nichols, Baran Sweep NAC Weekly Awards

Nichols, Baran Sweep NAC Weekly Awards

WATERVILLE, Maine -  After helping lead the Castleton women's soccer team to clinch the No. 2 seed in the North Atlantic Conference Championship Tournament, Rylee Nichols has been named NAC Player and Rookie of the Week, while Kiley Baran has earned Defensive Player of the Week honors, announced Monday by the league office.

Nichols once again had a stellar week for Castleton as she netted three goals and added an assist for seven total points to help lead the Spartans to three conference victories. After registering an assist in a win over Johnson, Nichols scored two late goals to help the Spartans pull away from Maine Maritime in the second half. The freshman scored once more in a 2-1 victory over Husson, sparking her team with the go-ahead goal to break a scoreless tie in the 52nd minute on the lone shot she took in the match. Nichols recorded at least one point in every conference game this season and had a goal in seven of the nine NAC contests.

Baran logged 270 minutes in goal and earned three conference victories with 12 saves and a shutout. The senior opened the week with a clean sheet against Johnson, notching three saves to secure her third shutout of the season. She collected three more saves in a big win 5-2 win over Maine Maritime while holding the Mariners off the board for over 50 minutes after conceding an early goal. Baran closed out the week by grinding out a tough win against Husson with six total saves, including four in the second half to hold the Eagles at bay, a scoring offense that leads the NAC averaging 3.43 goals per game. Overall on the week, Baran posted a 1.00 goals-against average and .800 save percentage to improve her record to 9-3 on the season.

This is the fourth time Nichols has been honored with a weekly award this season, while Baran has been named NAC Defensive Player of the Week twice. To view the full weekly NAC awards release, click here.

Castleton (9-7-1, 8-1 NAC) returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Keene State in the regular-season finale at 6 p.m. The Spartans will host a semifinal matchup of the NAC Tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 31, with opponent and time to be determined.