March 6, 2007
WASHINGTON - The American University field hockey team ranked second in the 2006 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I National Academic Team Award and placed 13 players on the NFHCA National Academic Squad.
"As a staff we are truly awed by our team's academic accomplishments-the excellence that they display and achieve gives all of us associated with them tremendous pride," said Head Coach Steve Jennings. "Their performance is all the more remarkable as it demonstrates clearly that you can succeed in both the classroom and the playing field."
The Eagles had a combined GPA of 3.52 with the Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year Heidi Hershberger (Davis, Calif./Davis) leading the way for AU with a 4.0 grade point average in her first year in the Master's Program in International Affairs: Foreign Policy. For Hershberger and fellow senior Erin Rock (Williamsburg, Va./Jamestown), this is the fourth consecutive year the two have been named to the National Academic Squad.
Junior Maggie Hall (Annville, Pa./Palmyra) earned the honor for the third year, with classmate Ashley Foley (Byfield, Mass./Governor Dummer Academy) picking up the award for her second time. Sophomores Irene Schickhardt (Ludwigsburg, Germany/Schiller) and Katie Turner (Millersville, Md./Severna Park) have been members of the squad for both years of the career at American University, with second-year Jessica Pufnock (Reading, Pa./Exeter) joining her teammates for the first time this season.
With the upperclassman setting the example, American field hockey placed five freshmen on the National Academic Squad. Newcomers Carly Boyce (New Egypt, N.J./Allentown), Rachel Carney (Los Gatos, Calif./Archbishop Mitty), Anne-Meike DeWiljes (Hannover, Germany/Humboldschule Hannover) Savannah Graybill (Ephrata, Pa./Cocalico) and Emily Stovicek (Montgomery Village, Md./Poolesville) continue to build on the trend of success of American University field hockey.
The University of Louisville's 19 field hockey players was the best in the country, leading the squad to the top team GPA award for the second straight year. To be eligible for the Division I National Academic Squad, players must have a cumulative grade point average above 3.2.
American wrapped up its 2006 season with its fourth consecutive Patriot League Championship and another trip to the NCAA Tournament. The seniors accomplished a feat never done before, remaining undefeated in league play for each of their four years. Next year's squad will return 13 players from this season's championship roster.