Nov. 1, 2011
Center Valley, Pa. - American and Lafayette shared the regular-season title in Patriot League field hockey, and as a reward the two teams also took home the most season-ending recognition when the sport's major awards and All-Patriot League honors were announced on Tuesday.
Each school had a pair of major award winners. American senior defender Tatum Dyer was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, while Head Coach Steve Jennings won his seventh consecutive and eighth overall Patriot League Coach of the Year award. For Lafayette, junior forward Deanna DiCroce won the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year award while freshman midfielder Brittany Blass was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year. The remaining major award went to Lehigh sophomore Sierra Segear, who became the first Mountain Hawk named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year.
The four teams that made it to the Patriot League Tournament landed 20 of the 24 spots on the All-Patriot League Team. American led all schools with six recipients, with three on both the first and second team. Lafayette had a League-high four players as first-team All-Patriot League picks with five selections overall, while Bucknell matched the Leopards with five All-Patriot League performers and placed three on the first team. Lehigh had four All-Patriot League selections with a pair on both the first and second team, while Colgate and Holy Cross each placed a player on both the first and second team. Voting was conducted by Patriot League field hockey head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.
DiCroce was the unanimous choice of opposing coaches as the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year after yet another outstanding season. She leads the Patriot League with 27 points and is tied for the League lead in both goals (10) and assists (7). DiCroce turned up her play once the Patriot League season began, leading all players with 15 points and five goals in Patriot League action. She turned in a two-goal, two-assist effort in a crucial win for the Leopards at Bucknell on Oct. 8. DiCroce earns Lafayette's Patriot League-best seventh Offensive Player of the Year award, and becomes the sixth different Leopard student-athlete to win the honor and first since Jennifer Stone in 2003. DiCroce also earned a unanimous selection as a first-team All-Patriot League player, becoming just the 20th student-athlete in League history to earn three first-team All-Patriot League selections in a career.
Like DiCroce, Dyer earned a unanimous selection from opposing coaches as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. The standout senior garnered four Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week awards, including three in the past four weeks. While continuing to serve as a stalwart for an American team that led the Patriot League in scoring margin and goals against average, Dyer also found a scoring touch in the last month of the season and finished with six goals and six assists for 18 points on the year. Dyer continues a long line of standout American defenders, winning the school's eighth Defensive Player of the Year award in 11 seasons in the Patriot League and the sixth in the past seven years. She is the sixth different American student-athlete to win the award. Dyer was also a unanimous first-team All-Patriot League pick, becoming one of nine players in League history to finish their career with four All-Patriot League selections.
Segear backstopped the Mountain Hawks to their first Patriot League Tournament berth since 2009 and first winning Patriot League record since 2007. She leads all goalkeepers with 183 saves and 11.44 saves per game for the season, ranking among the national leaders in both categories. Segear also paced the Patriot League with a .782 save percentage while recording a 3.29 goals against average for the year. She saved her best play for Patriot League action, leading the League with a .814 save percentage while notching a 2.25 GAA across the five Patriot League games. Segear led the Mountain Hawks into the Patriot League Tournament by making 11 saves in a 2-1 win over Colgate on Oct. 8 and 15 in a 1-0 shutout of Bucknell the next week. She won three Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week awards during the season, and was also named a first-team All-Patriot League selection. Segear becomes Lehigh's first Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year recipient.
Blass had a strong freshman season for the Leopards, particularly in Patriot League action. She tallied three goals and three assists in the five Patriot League contests, and was twice named Patriot League Rookie of the Week. She led all players with 21 shots in League action. Blass finished with four goals and five assists for the season, and received first-team All-Patriot League honors. She is Lafayette's fourth Rookie of the Year winner and first since Meghan Cicchi in 2007.
Jennings led the Eagles to a ninth-consecutive regular-season title, with a 3-1 win at Lafayette on Sunday clinching that status and the Eagles' ninth-straight season as the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament. He has directed American to a 9-7 overall record against a tough schedule, and the Eagles finished 4-1 or better in the Patriot League for the ninth year in a row. The Eagles will go for their ninth overall and consecutive Patriot League title at home in this weekend's tourney. Jennings' eight overall Patriot League Coach of the Year honors are three more than anyone else in League history.
DiCroce and Dyer were two of six unanimous first-team All-Patriot League selections. Also earning unanimous first-team honors were American junior midfielder Jenn Bradley (4 G, 4 A), Bucknell sophomore forward Rachel Misko (4 G, 5 A), Lafayette senior midfielder/defender Carolyn Cabrey (6 G) and Lehigh junior forward Kim Eng (10 G, 4 A). Cabrey joined Dyer as a four-time All-Patriot League selection.
The remainder of the first-team All-Patriot League selections were American junior defender Gina Hofmann (3 G, 1 A), Bucknell senior midfielder Marci Richard (7 A) and senior forward Mallory Smith (6 G, 6 A), Colgate senior midfielder Peyton Hawkins (2 G, 1 A), Holy Cross senior midfielder Jamie Caniglia (3 G, 5 A) and Lafayette junior midfielder/defender Emily Valeo (4 G, 7 A).
Second-team All-Patriot League honors went to American sophomore midfielder Shelly Montgomery (4 G, 3 A), senior forward Melissa Casale (4 G) and sophomore forward Alex McMackin (8 G, 2 A), Bucknell sophomore goalkeeper Erica Perrine (.728 SV PCT) and sophomore defender Vickie Resh (1 G, 1 A), Colgate freshman goalkeeper Amanda DiDomizio (.760 SV PCT), Holy Cross freshman midfielder/forward Mackenzie Peet (3 G, 1 A), Lafayette junior midfielder/defender Jaclyn White (1 A) and Lehigh freshman midfielder/defender Steph Fratoni (1 G, 4 A) and sophomore defender Marie Mignogna (8 DS).
Eng, Hofmann, Misko, Valeo and Montgomery all earned their second All-Patriot League honor.
The 2011 Patriot League Field Hockey Tournament will be played this weekend, beginning with Friday's semifinals as No. 4 Bucknell plays No. 1 American at 11 a.m. and No. 3 Lehigh takes on No. 2 Lafayette at 2 p.m. The winners meet for the Patriot League Championship on Saturday at 1 p.m. The event will be held at American's Reeves Field and is available live through the Patriot League All-Access package.
2011 All-Patriot League Field Hockey Team
Offensive Player of the Year: Deanna DiCroce, Lafayette, Jr., F
Defensive Player of the Year: Tatum Dyer, American, Sr., D
Goalkeeper of the Year: Sierra Segear, Lehigh, So., GK
Rookie of the Year: Brittany Blass, Lafayette, Fr., M
Coach of the Year: Steve Jennings, American
First-Team All-Patriot League*
Tatum Dyer, American (Sr., D)^
Gina Hofmann, American (Jr., D)
Jenn Bradley, American (Jr., M)^
Marci Richard, Bucknell (Sr., M)
Rachel Misko, Bucknell (So., F)^
Mallory Smith, Bucknell (Sr., F)
Peyton Hawkins, Colgate (Sr., M)
Jamie Caniglia, Holy Cross (Sr., M)
Carolyn Cabrey, Lafayette (Sr., M/D)^
Deanna DiCroce, Lafayette (Jr., F)^
Emily Valeo, Lafayette (Jr., M/D)
Brittany Blass, Lafayette (Fr., M)
Sierra Segear, Lehigh (So., GK)
Kim Eng, Lehigh (Jr., F)^
Second-Team All-Patriot League#
Shelly Montgomery, American (So., M)
Melissa Casale, American (Sr., F)
Alex McMackin, American (So., F)
Erica Perrine, Bucknell (So., GK)
Vickie Resh, Bucknell (So., D)
Amanda DiDomizio, Colgate (Fr., GK)
Mackenzie Peet, Holy Cross (Fr., M/F)
Jaclyn White, Lafayette (Jr., M/D)
Steph Fratoni, Lehigh (Fr., M/D)
Marie Mignogna, Lehigh (So., D)
* - 14 players due to ties in the voting
# - 10 players due to ties in the voting
^ - unanimous first-team selection