April 13, 2012

Ivy Champs Honor Holland, McConnell, Schlesier and Schuckert with Awards

Bulldogs Also Salue Seniors

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Ivy League champion Yale field hockey team held its post-season banquet Friday night at Ray Tompkins House, announcing the team awards. Sophomore midfielder/back Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.) was recognized with the Player of the Year Award. Junior goalkeeper Ona McConnell (London, England), the inspiration behind Yale's season-long "Get a Grip" campaign, won the Walton Award again for confronting the challenge of playing with myotonic dystrophy. Another goalkeeper, freshman Heather Schlesier (San Diego, Calif.), received the Senior Award. Sophomore forward Emily Schuckert (Wilmington, Del.) won the Coaches' Award. 

The Bulldogs also recognized the senior class at the banquet: back Erin Carter (Perkiomenville, Pa.), forward/midfielder Kirsten Krebs (Selinsgrove, Pa.), midfielder Dinah Landshut (Hamburg, Germany), back/midfielder Chelsey Locarno (Boston, Mass.), forward Mia Rosati (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and back Taylor Sankovich (Short Hills, N.J.). In addition to leading Yale to an Ivy League title, that group also went 3-1 against archrival Harvard.

This is the first year Yale has given a Player of the Year Award, but it is based on an existing award that has been in place since 2007. After each game, players are recognized by the coaching staff for outstanding performances. The player with the greatest impact on the game is selected as "Player of the Match", and is presented with The Yale Field Hockey Cup. That player holds onto the Cup until the next game. A point system based on those game-by-game recognitions then determines which player is given the team's Player of the Year Award at the end of the season. The Player of the Year Award had been known up until this year as The Cup, and previous Cup winners include: Landshut (2010), Ashley McCauley '10 (2008 and 2009), and Katie Cantore '10 (2007).

Holland was a unanimous first team All-Ivy League selection, one of four first-team selections for Yale this year. She continued to be an offensive threat while also handling plenty of defensive responsibility, as indicated by her team-high three defensive saves. She tied for second on the team in goals and points (9-4-22), including a hat trick in the win vs. Dartmouth. Holland scored the game-winning goal in the 7-0 win over Brown in the regular season finale that clinched a share of the Ivy League championship for Yale.

Holland, who was Ivy League co-Rookie of the Year and a second team All-Ivy League selection in 2010, was an All-American at Ward Melville prior to coming to Yale. She is in Ezra Stiles College.

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 that put her career on hold. She overcame a coma and physical injuries with hard work and dedication.

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 in 2010, raising money for the foundation by getting pledges based on the team's season goal total. McConnell appeared in two games this year, playing 14:15, and stopped two of the three shots she saw.

McConnell is in Berkeley College. Prior to Yale, she attended American School in London.

The Senior Award that Schlesier 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. Schlesier appeared in seven games, allowing just one goal in 70:04 and posting an .833 save percentage.

Schlesier is in Trumbull College. Prior to Yale, she attended Torrey Pines High School.

The Coaches Award that Schuckert received is given to the player who exemplifies principles, direction and persistence in pursuit of field hockey excellence at Yale. Schuckert, who won the Senior Award last year, continued to impress with both her skills and her work ethic. She played in all 17 games for the second straight season, starting all of them. She scored two goals (both in the 5-1 win over Harvard, including the game-winner) and had seven assists.

Schuckert is in Trumbull College. Prior to Yale, she attended Tower Hill School.

All the honorees were part of a memorable season for Yale Field Hockey. The Bulldogs went 11-6 overall and 6-1 in the Ivy League, tying Princeton for the Ivy title. This was Yale's third straight season finishing in the league's top two. The Bulldogs are 34-17 overall in the last three seasons, 17-4 in the Ivy League. That is the most wins in a three-year span in school history.

Yale finished the season with a school record 69 goals, marking the sixth 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 three consecutive seasons.

For more information on "Get a Grip", visit http://www.yalebulldogs.com/getagrip

 

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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