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Stellar seasons net Husky coaches regional honors

Cheryl Murtagh led the women’s field hockey team to strong 14-7 (5-2 CAA) record and an NCAA appearance this season. Now, she has been honored as the 2012 Dita / NFHCA Division I Northeast Region Co-Coach of the Year, as selected by her peers.

This marks the eighth time in Murtagh’s remarkable career that she has received the honor; she will share the award with Massachusetts’ Carla Tagliente.

Murtagh’s team this season was filled with talent, including the CAA Player of the Year, Crystal Poland, and the CAA Rookie of the Year, Deirdre Duke. Both Poland (28 goals, 7 assists) and Duke (14 goals, 6 assists) earned All-America status, following their spectacular seasons. The dynamic duo led a pack of Huskies earning both conference and national recognition for their outstanding play. Six Huskies — Poland, Duke, Lizzie Priest, Nicky Graham, Allison Conti and Zoe Kale — earned All-CAA honors, while Poland and Conti both represented NU in this year’s NFHCA Senior Game.

In 25 full seasons at Northeastern, Murtagh has compiled an impressive 347-190-10 record. This season, Northeastern’s 14 wins tied for most in program history since 2005, and the Huskies reached both the CAA Championship and the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. Murtagh has led the Huskies to a total of 16 NCAA appearances, and her 364 total career wins ranks in the top-10 all-time in Division I history.

In September of this year, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association announced that Murtagh would be celebrated as one of three members in the NFHCA Hall of Fame, Class of 2012.

In other sporting news, Northeastern men’s soccer head coach Brian Ainscough has been named the NSCAA Division I South Atlantic regional Coach of the Year for the first time in his career following the team’s most successful season in program history.

Brian Ainscough led the men’s soccer team to a 14-3-4 record in 2012, setting season records for most victories and fewest losses.

The eighth-year coach led Northeastern to a 14-3-4 record in 2012, setting season records for most victories and fewest losses. During the season, the Huskies also set a program record for longest winning streak (12).

The 2012 men’s soccer team captured the program’s first-ever CAA Tournament title with a thrilling 1-0 win against Hofstra, propelling Northeastern into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002. During the conference tournament, Ainscough was named the CAA Co-Coach of the Year, the first for a Husky head coach since 2002.

At the height of the team’s 12-match unbeaten streak, Northeastern also earned the program’s first-ever national ranking on Oct. 30, coming in at No. 25 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s National Poll.

As a regional award winner, Ainscough is now eligible for selection as the Division I national coach of the year, which will be announced in January.

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