Dec. 18, 2008

Courtesy of James Madison

HARRISONBURG, Va., Dec. 17, 2008 – James Madison junior goalkeeper Kelsey Cutchins (Suffolk, Va./Lakeland) and senior back Melissa Walls (Berlin, N.J./Eastern Regional) were both named ECAC All-Stars while Cutchins was honored recently with the Colonial Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Award for field hockey.

Cutchins and Walls were key in JMU fielding one of the top defenses in the nation in 2008.  As a team, the Dukes led the NCAA in goals against average (0.75), save percentage (.820), and shutouts per game (0.52).  JMU went 18-3 overall while winning its third straight CAA championship and finished first in the regular season for the first time since 1995.  The 18-3 mark was the best winning percentage in program history.

Thus far, Cutchins has repeated all of her high honors of a year ago.  In addition to her All-ECAC and CAA Scholar-Athlete honors, Cutchins has also earned consecutive awards as NFHCA and First Team All-America, NFHCA All-Region, CAA Player of the Year, and First Team All-CAA.  The psychology major is a four-time honoree on the JMU President’s List and a two-time selection to the NFHCA National Academic Squad.

In 2008, Cutchins led the nation with a 0.72 GAA and with an .824 save percentage.  She posted eight solo shutouts and played the majority of minutes in three shared shutouts.  Cutchins currently owns JMU’s career GAA record at 0.96 while ranking third in minutes (4,139:03), ninth in save percentage (.777), and 10th in saves (199).

Walls was one of three backs on the All-ECAC squad.  She was a NFHCA Third Team All-American and First Team pick by  She was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year as a senior captain and leader of the defensive backfield for the Dukes.  A member of the CAA All-Tournament Team, Walls recorded eight assists this season to finish her career with 41 points on 14 goals and 13 assists.  She ranks ninth in JMU history with 87 games played and sixth with 86 starts.

The ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) is the nation's largest athletic and the only multi-divisional conference, with a membership of 320 Division I, II, and III colleges and universities stretching from Maine to North Carolina. The ECAC honors more than 2,500 student-athletes during the academic year through its all-star and player of the week programs.