By Abbey Randall, Sports Editor

Kayla Tuttle UMF Women's Soccer Team Player # 4 (photo courtesy of UMF Athletics)

Kayla Tuttle UMF Women’s Soccer Team Player # 4 (photo courtesy of UMF Athletics)

With persistence and hard work, Captain Kayla Tuttle, senior midfielder for the University of Maine (UMF) at Farmington women’s soccer team, was named North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Player of the Year for the 2013 season.

Tuttle began her college career at UMF in 2010, starting as a midfielder with excellent foot skills and a stamina that never seemed to quite. Closing in her senior year with sixteen goals for the season, six assists and a total of thirty-eight points.

“She works so hard all year round to be better and that really sets the tone for the rest of the team,” said Coach Molly Wilkie. “She has such a good engine and she can run and run and run.”

Tuttle is constantly pushing her teammates to bring their best to games and practices being a leader on and off the field. She works hard at being an athlete and takes her studies serious as well.

“She is just a give it your all type of person in anything she is doing,” said Beth Lebel, senior goal keeper. “She is a great athlete, she is a great person, and she is a great student.”

NAC Player of the Year is voted on by the league’s coaches and with many other competitive athletes in the running for the award it is quite an accomplishment for the recipient. Tuttle will be the third athlete from UMF women’s soccer to receive the prestigious award.

“I was surprised and really happy,” said Tuttle. “I was up against a girl from Castleton and a girl Colby-Sawyer and they are both really good teams. It feels good to have that respect from the other coaches.”

Tuttle also received a position on the Academic All-District Team among eleven other athletes in NCAA Division III and is now in the running for Academic All-American Team. Teams are voted on by College Sports Information Directors of America.

“She really got to excel at Farmington and I can’t think of a more deserving person to get it,” said Lebel.

Four other UMF women’s soccer athletes were named to the all-conference teams include Sara Quimby, junior defender joining Tuttle on the All-NAC First Team. Lauren Perkins, senior defender, Ava Amador, junior forward, and Alexandra Crocker, junior midfielder were all named All-NAC Second Team honorees.

“I couldn’t do all of that without my team there,” said Tuttle. “We all worked really hard to get where we were at the end of the season.”

UMF women’s soccer ended their season with an overall record of 9-7-3 and a conference record of 7-1-1. The team finished their season against Castleton with a tough battle in the semi-final round with a final score of 3-2.

UMF was awarded the NAC Team Sportsmanship Award for the third straight season. “We all get a long really well,” said Tuttle. “That’s the one thing that always seems to work with our team.”