HARTFORD, Conn. – The 2010 BIG EAST field hockey yearly awards and all-conference teams were announced at the BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship banquet Friday at the Hilton Hartford Hotel with the four major accolades going to members of the top three seeded teams of the BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship.
Louisville senior midfielder Nicole Youman was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. Connecticut senior midfielder was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, while Connecticut freshman Sarah Mansfield took home BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year honors. Syracuse head coach Ange Bradely was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
Youman dominated the conference in every offensive category. She registered 17 goals and dished out 19 assists, collecting 53 points and averaging 2.79 points per game. The senior ranks sixth in the nation in points per game. Youman also averaged 0.89 goal per game and 1.00 assist per game. She continued to impress in league play as well, averaging 1.17 goals and 1.50 assists per BIG EAST contest.
As the back-to-back BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, Gonzalez anchored a Connecticut defense that leads the conference in shutouts (8), goals-against average (0.80), goals allowed per game (0.83) and scoring margin (2.35). The Huskies held opponents to 152 shots, while allowing only 15 goals. In BIG EAST play, Connecticut’s defense allowed six goals and earned two shutouts. In addition to being a constant defensive threat, Gonzalez tallied two goals and four assists for eight points over 18 games. This marks the fifth consecutive year in which a UConn player has won the defensive honor.
Mansfield tops the BIG EAST in four defensive categories, including goals-against average, shutouts, shutouts per game and save percentage. The freshman boasts a 0.86 goals-against average with 13 wins, including six shutouts. She holds a .795 save percentage, while averaging 0.33 shutouts per game. She held opponents to 15 goals on 145 shots, collecting 58 saves.
In her fourth season as head coach of the Orange, Bradley led Syracuse to a 13-4 mark and a 6-0 record in league play for the second-straight year. This is her second consecutive BIG EAST Coach of the Year honor. It also marks the third time in four years that she has won the award. Bradley led the Orange to their third-straight regular season title and knocked off a conference-best seven ranked opponents in 2010. Bradley’s Syracuse teams have a combined 65-17 (.793) record over her four seasons.
Connecticut, the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Championship, totaled the most All-BIG EAST First Team picks with five. Gonzalez and junior midfielder/back Rayell Heistand were the Huskies’ unanimous selections. They were joined by Mansfield, sophomore back Jestine Angelini and freshman forward Anne Jeute. UConn was a defensive stronghold all season, leading not only the conference but also ranking among the best defenses in the country. Connecticut ended the regular season No. 2 in the nation in GAA (0.80) and No. 1 in save percentage (0.818). Jeute led the Huskies offensively, registering 13 goals and giving out five assists to collect 31 points.
No. 2 seed Louisville had three players listed on the All-BIG EAST First Team, including unanimous pick Youman. The senior was joined by a pair of midfielders in classmate Rachel Hollenbach and junior Hayley Tuner. Turner is second on the team in both goals (eight) and assists (seven) for 23 points. Hollenbach helped lead a Cardinal defense to a 1.75 GAA.
Providence and No. 4 seed Rutgers both had first team nods in Friar midfielder/back Julie Ruggieri and Scarlet Knight midfielder Jenna Bull. Ruggieri was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection in 2009 and recorded eight points off three goals and two assists this season. This is the first such recognition for Bull, who was named to the all-conference second team in 2008 and 2009. She totaled four points off one goal and two assists for the Scarlet Knights.
Seeded first, Syracuse landed junior midfielder Martina Loncarica as a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team pick. Loncarica led the 2010 regular season champion with 26 points, scoring 10 goals and dishing out six assists. She leads the league with seven game-winning goals, averaging 0.41 game-winners per contest.
The Orange dominated the All-BIG EAST Second Team with nods going to midfielder Lindsey Conrad, forward Leonie Geyer, back Laura Hahnfeldt, back Nicole Nelson and forward Heather Susek. Connecticut and Villanova each put a pair on the all-conference second team in Huskies midfielder/forward Ali Blankmeyer and forward Cara Silverman and Wildcats forward/midfielder Dana Ramsden and forward Abby Sordoni. Louisville and Providence were represented on the second team with Cardinal goalkeeper Erin Conrad and Friar midfielder/back Jaime Lipski.
The 2010 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship begins Nov. 6 in Storrs, Conn., as Syracuse, Louisville, Connecticut and Rutgers vie for the league’s tournament title. The University of Connecticut will host the single-elimination event with the semifinals Nov. 6 and the championship game Nov. 7. The first semifinal game will pit Rutgers against Syracuse at 11 a.m., while Connecticut and Louisville are set to square off at 1:30 p.m.
All BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship action, including live stats, live streaming, recaps, highlights and box scores will be available through Championship Central at www.bigeast.org.
Offensive Player of the Year
Nicole Youman, Louisville, Sr., M
Defensive Player of the Year
Melissa Gonzalez, Connecticut, Sr., M
Goalkeeper of the Year
Sarah Mansfield, Connecticut, Fr.
Coach of the Year
Ange Bradley, Syracuse
All-BIG EAST First Team
Jestine Angelini, Connecticut, Jr., B
Jenna Bull, Rutgers, Sr., M
Melissa Gonzalez, Connecticut, Sr., M/B*
Rayell Heistand, Connecticut, Jr., M/B*
Rachel Hollenbach, Louisville, Sr., M
Anne Jeute, Connecticut, Fr., F
Martina Loncarica, Syracuse, Jr., M*
Sarah Mansfield, Connecticut, Fr., GK
Julie Ruggieri, Providence, Sr., M/B
Hayley Turner, Louisville, Jr., M
Nicole Youman, Louisville, Sr., F*
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Ali Blankmeyer, Connecticut, Jr., M/F
Erin Conrad, Louisville, R-So., GK
Lindsey Conrad, Syracuse, Sr., M
Leonie Geyer, Syracuse, Fr., F
Laura Hahnfeldt, Syracuse, Fr., B
Jaime Lipski, Providence, Sr., M/B
Nicole Nelson, Syracuse, Jr., B
Dana Ramsden, Villanova, Sr., F/M
Cara Silverman, Jr., Connecticut, F
Abby Sordoni, Villanova, Sr., F
Heather Susek, Syracuse, Jr., F