NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale field hockey team held its post-season banquet Friday night, announcing the team awards. Appropriately for a season where Yale held a season-long "Get a Grip" campaign in her honor, sophomore goalkeeper Ona McConnell (London, England) won the Walton Award for confronting the challenge of playing with myotonic dystrophy. Sophomore forward Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.) and junior forward/midfielder Chelsey Locarno (Boston, Mass.) shared the Coaches' Award. Also honored was freshman forward/midfielder Emily Schuckert (Wilmington, Del.), who received the Senior Award.
The Amanda Walton Award that McConnell received is given by the Yale players and coaching staff to that team member who demonstrates the ability to confront challenges, displaying the courage to overcome them, while inspiring teammates with her work ethic and unselfish attitude.
The award is named after Amanda Walton '02, who has been an inspiration to the Bulldogs. After her sophomore year at Yale, Walton -- a field hockey and lacrosse player -- was involved in an automobile accident which put her career on hold. She overcame a coma and physical injuries with hard work and dedication, and she serves on Yale's roster as a special assistant.
Despite being diagnosed with a debilitating illness midway through her freshman year at Yale, McConnell chose to continue playing field hockey. She is now a board member for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation, and inspired her team to undertake the "Get a Grip" campaign this season, raising money for the foundation by getting pledges based on the team's season goal total. McConnell appeared in three games, playing 30:09, and did not allow a goal.
The Coaches Award that Barham and Locarno received is given to the player who exemplifies principles, direction and persistence in pursuit of field hockey excellence at Yale.
Barham started all 17 games and established career highs in goals (four), assists (four) and points (12). She has started 33 games for her career and was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection in 2009.
Locarno proved to be one of Yale's most versatile players while starting all 17 games. Capable of playing virtually any position on the field, she also contributed a pair of goals.
The Senior Award that Schuckert received is awarded by the senior class to a freshman team member who reflects positive contribution to the team's philosophy and whose individual character encourages the future direction and excellence of Yale Field Hockey. Schuckert played in all 17 games this season, starting seven. She had a pair of goals and one assist.
All the honorees were part of a memorable season for Yale Field Hockey. The Bulldogs went 11-6 overall and 5-2 in the Ivy League this past season, tying for second place. That was the second straight second-place finish for Yale. The Bulldogs are 23-11 overall in the last two seasons, 11-3 in the Ivy League. That is the most league wins, and the second-most overall wins, in a two-year span in school history.
Yale finished the season with 52 goals, marking the fifth straight season the Bulldogs have increased their goal total over the previous year. This was the first time in school history Yale scored 50 or more goals in back-to-back seasons.
For more information on "Get a Grip", visit http://www.yalebulldogs.com/getagrip
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity