17 field hockey players earn national academic nods, team honored

17 field hockey players earn national academic nods, team honored

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Seventeen members of the Saint Michael's College field hockey team qualified for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Collegiate Division II National Academic Squad for this past fall, while the Purple Knights earned an NFHCA Collegiate National Academic Team Award for the 13th consecutive year.

First-years Maggie Daley (Slingerlands, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) and MaKayla Foster (Middlebury, Vt./Middlebury Union) not only qualified for the National Academic Squad but were also among 79 Division II student-athletes to be named NFHCA Scholars of Distinction for putting together a minimum cumulative 3.90 grade-point average through the first semester of the 2016-17 school year. Purple Knights have now been Scholars of Distinction eight times in the past four years combined.

Seniors Kate Baltich (Loudonville, N.Y./Shaker), Kimberly MacPhail (Goffstown, N.H./Goffstown) and Monica Miles (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine/Foxcroft Academy) were among 55 players to land on the National Academic Squad for the fourth time in their careers, as 24 hailed from the Northeast-10 Conference. With 17 of the 27 student-athletes on its roster being honored, Saint Michael's leads the NE10 in National Academic Squad qualifiers while falling four players short of national leader East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University. The Purple Knights are one of 29 programs to draw the team accolade, with 12 from the NE10.

In addition to Baltich, Daley, Foster, MacPhail and Miles, those honored on the National Academic Squad were senior Abby Dusha (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich Central School); juniors Jenna Deschaine (Claremont, N.H./Stevens), Michaela Hajduk (Winthrop, Maine/Winthrop) and Jackie Matthews (Auburn, Mass./Auburn); sophomores Morgan Johnston (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport), Katie Leonard (Carmel, N.Y./The Ursuline School) and Nicole White (Cranston, R.I./Lincoln School); and first-years Nell Criscione (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet Regional), Maryel Likhite (Jericho, Vt./Mount Mansfield Union), Claire Scherf (Bethlehem, Conn./Nonnewaug), Molly Tobin (Owls Head, Maine/Oceanside) and Anne van der Erve (Tervuren, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium/Heilig-Hartcollege Tervuren).

Deschaine, Dusha, Hajduk and Matthews earned their third career National Academic Squad honor, while Johnston, Leonard and White each claimed their second.

The National Academic Squad recognizes student-athletes that have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year, while the team award recognizes programs that achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA during the first semester.