CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Eight field hockey standouts representing four different institutions have earned America East annual awards as decided in a vote of the conference’s head coaches. The annual awards, along with the all-conference, all-rookie and all-academic teams were announced by the league office on Wednesday afternoon.
University at Albany’s Daphne Voormolen and University of Maine’s Annabelle Hamilton are the Co-Offensive Players of the Year, while Boston University’s Ella Gunson is the unanimous choice for Midfielder of the Year. University of New Hampshire’s Megan Bozek is the Defensive Player of the Year and Albany’s Kristi Troch and Jess Maroney shared Goalkeeper of the Year honors. The Great Danes’ Laura Page and Black Bears’ Cassidy Svetek are Co-Rookies of the Year and the Wildcats, led by head coach Robin Balducci, earned Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
Voormolen, a junior forward, and Hamilton, a sophomore forward, are each tied for sixth among league leaders with 23 points and split Offensive Player of the Year honors in addition to earning first-team all-conference accolades. Voormolen, who has 10 scores and three assists, ranks fourth among league leaders in goals, while Hamilton is tied for fifth with nine goals and tied for eighth with four assists. Voormolen, a second-team all-conference selection last year, has nine scores in her last 11 games and is Albany’s first Offensive Player of the Year since Michelle Simpson in 2006. Hamilton, who earned America East Player of the Week honors, is Maine’s second Offensive Player of the Year in three seasons joining Kelly Newton (2010).
Gunson, a junior midfielder, was a unanimous choice for Midfielder of the Year in her first season at Boston U. A member of the New Zealand Olympic squad that finished in fourth place in London, she ranked fifth among league leaders in points (25), tied for fifth in goals (9) and ranked fourth in assists (7).
Named America East Player of the Week on Oct. 9 after scoring twice in a win at Vermont, Gunson led the America East with five points against conference foes. She is the third Terrier to win the award in the five years its been handed out.
Bozek, a junior defender, paced UNH to its third-straight America East regular-season crown and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. The league’s Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 17, Bozek tied for the league lead with four defensive saves and paced a back line that allowed just six goals in five conference games, the second-best rate in the conference. Bozek also contributed offensively, tying for fifth among league leaders with nine goals and tying for eighth with 21 points. She is UNH’s first-ever Defensive Player of the Year.
Troch, a junior, and Maroney, a senior, split Goalkeeper of the Year honors after leading the league in goals-against average and save percentage, respectively. Troch, who earned the honor for the third straight year, is the first America East field hockey player to win a major award in three straight seasons. She recorded a league-best 1.17 GAA, which also ranks ninth nationally, and five shutouts. Maroney split time with teammate Valentina Cerda Emibcke much of the season, but emerged as the team’s top goaltender by recording a .825 save percentage, the best mark in the country, to go with a 1.26 GAA. Both goaltenders were named first-team all-conference choices.
Page and Svetek, both freshman forwards, ranked among league leaders in goals and assists, respectively, to earn Co-Rookie of the Year honors. Page is second among league leaders with 14 assists and ranks ninth nationally with 0.76 assists per game. She has a goal and six assists in her last four games. Svetek, a two-time America East Rookie of the Week this year, is tied for fifth among league leaders with nine goals and is tied for ninth with 18 points. Page is the Great Danes’ second Rookie of the Year in three years and Svetek is the Black Bears third in five years.
New Hampshire’s coaching staff led UNH to its third-straight regular-season championship and top seed for the conference tournament en route to earning Coaching Staff of the Year for the third straight season. The Wildcats ran the table in America East, going 5-0, and became just the third team in conference history to win three-straight regular-season crowns. UNH, which is ranked 20th nationally, leads America East and ranks 12th nationally averaging 3.06 goals per game. Head Coach Robin Balducci, now a five-time honoree, is assisted by Ross Gorham and Meg Shea.
Voormolen, Hamilton, Gunson, Bozek, Troch and Maroney are joined on the all-conference first team by Albany’s Jessica Longstreth and Corrine McConville, Boston U.’s Jacinda McLeod, Fairfield University’s Felicitas Heinen, Maine’s Zoe Adkins, and New Hampshire’s Emma Erler and Casey Pohlmeyer.
The second-team consists of Albany’s Taylor Luke, Boston U.’s Ysi Scheib and Nicole van Oosterom, Fairfield’s Shealyn Testa, Maine’s Zoe Berkey and Holly Stewart, UNH’s Kellie Joyce and Hannah Richard and University of Vermont’s Alana Izzo and Taylor Silvestro.
Page and Svetek were unanimous all-rookie choices along with the Great Danes’ Fiori Van Rijswijk, the Terriers’ Rachel Coll and Sofi Laurito, the Stags’ Kaitlyn Taddeo, the Black Bears’ Nicole Sevey, the Wildcats’ Meg Flatley and Chandler Giese and the Catamounts’ Kelsey Bonner. Fairfield’s Emily McCauley, Maine’s Elke Jacobse and UNH’s Lynn Lehman rounded out the all-rookie squad.
Three major award winners and six other all-conference honorees were also all-academic recipients for performing well on the field and in the classroom. Luke, Troch, Voormolen, Maroney, Berkey, Stewart, Bozek, Erler and Silvestro were joined by Albany’s Brianna Schwoyer and Boston U.’s Tabi Hatch on the squad, which was determined by a committee consisting of America East faculty athletic representatives, academic advisors and sports information directors.
UNH, Albany, Maine and Fairfield will take the field on Fri., Nov. 2 for the 2012 America East Field Hockey Championship hosted by UNH at Memorial Field. No. 1 UNH will play No. 4 Fairfield at 2 p.m., and No. 2 Albany and No. 3 Maine will follow at 5 p.m. The two winners will face-off in the final on Sun., Nov. 4 at 12 p.m. in a game that can be seen for free at AmericaEast.com The champion will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
Visit Championship Central on www.AmericaEast.com for complete coverage of the 2012 America East Field Hockey Championship, including live coverage links, postgame reaction and much more.