In seven seasons at UMass Dartmouth, Head Coach Nicole Castonguay has taken the Corsairs where they have never gone before. With six appearances in the Little East Conference post-season tournament, three Little East Conference championshipx and three NCAA Division III Championships appearances in the last four years, the Corsairs are looking to continue moving upward, and join the group of elite programs that annually contend for championship honors.
Last year, the Corsairs went 17-6, tying their record for most victories in a season and moved within five wins of giving Castonguay 100 victories during her career at UMass Dartmouth. The Corsairs have advanced tio post-season play in six of Castonguay's seven seasons.
In her first year, UMass Dartmouth posted 17 victories, the most in school history, while making their second consecutive LEC Tournament appearance. Two years later, UMD advanced to the semi-finals of the LEC Tournament. In 2009, the Corsairs took the next step, scoring the game-winning goal in sudden death overtime to defeat Keene State for the LEC title and advance to face Middlebury in the NCAAs. And in two of the past three seasons, UMD hosted and won all three of their games in the LEC Championships, advancing to the NCAA playoffs
Numerous times, Castonguay has been recognized by her peers. She hqs been named Little East Coach of the Year five times, including last season.
Team and individual success have gone hand in hand during Castonguay's tenure. In her first season, four Corsairs earned All-Conference honors, including the Offensive Player of the Year, Robin Dziedzic. Two Corsairs were honored the following season, and four more the following year, including Offensive Player of the Year Stephanie Kinchla. Three years ago, seven players earned LEC accolades, including Rookie of the Year Eleanor Taylor. In 2010, seven players were honored. Taylor was chosen LEC Offensive Player of the Year, while Becca Festinger participated in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III Senior Game, which invited the top 38 seniors in the nation. Two seasons ago, five players earned All-Conference honors, while last year, eight players were honored. Taryn Cardiel was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Cory Connolly was named Rookie of the Year.
Regional and national honors have also been plentiful. After the 2012 season, Erica Allan and Taryn Cardiel received All-Region honors. Cory Connolly was named to the NCAA Division III All-Rookie Team, and Cardiel and Jenna Miedzionoski were chosen for the ECAC Division III new England All-Star Team.
In 2010, Festinger and Stephanie Kinchla were named New England Field Hockey Coaches Association West Region All-Stars, with Kinchla being honored for the third consecutive season. The Corsairs received a National Academic team Award from the NFHCA for having a team grade-point average above 3.00, while Festinger, Jacke Anderson, Kate Dorrance, Kellie Ann Finn and Michaela Johnston were named to the National Collegiate Academic Squad. Anderson was named second team Academic All-District as a member of the Capital One Copllege Sports Information Directors of America Academic At-Large Team. After the 2011 season, Eleanor Taylor and Taryn Cardiel received All-Region honors.
In 2010, Kinchla earned her second consecutive first team NEFHCA West Region All-Star honor. She was also named an Eastern College Athletic Conference Northeast Region first team All-Star. In 2008, Seana Golden was a first team NFHCA Region All-Star, and a third team All-American. In 2007, the Corsairs received a ZAG/NFHCA Division III National Academic Team Award, and in 2006, Dziedzic was a first team NFHCA Region All-Star, earned second team ECAC All-Star honors, and was a third team NFHCA All-American. Laurie David was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 Little East Conference Tournament. In 2009, Jacke Anderson was named third team CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District, and in 2008, Rebecca Stephens received second team Academic All-District honors.
A native of the South Coast, Castonguay was inducted into the Somerset (MA) High School Hall of Fame seven years ago in her first year of eligibility. She played field hockey at the University of Connecticut, where she enjoyed a stellar four-year career, capping it when she was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year and received All-America honors when her team went 23-1. A member of the All-Big East Team in both 1998 and in 1999, Castonguay also served as team captain in both seasons, and helped lead her team to three consecutive Big East championships as well as two consecutive trips to the NCAA Final Four. She holds the Big East records for most goals in a tournament game with three and most goals in a tournament with five. A 2000 graduate of Connecticut, she was a Big East Academic All-Star in each of her four seasons.
Castonguay began her collegiate coaching career as the head coach at Bridgewater State, leading the Bears to a 9-8 overall record and a 7-3 conference record in 2001. It marked Bridgewater's first finish above .500 in six seasons, and she was named Little East Conference Coach of the Year. She went on to Bryant, where she was an assistant coach for two seasons before joining the staff at UMass Dartmouth.