River Hawks earn NFHCA honors

BROCKPORT, N.Y. – The UMass Lowell field hockey team was recently honored by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) for their work in the classroom this year.

“The pursuit of excellence in our academic pursuits is part of our expectation and the 2021 squad has certainly done a fantastic job of achieving excellence,” the head coach said. Shannon LeBlanc. “We are proud of the team as a whole and of all the honorees as well.”

As a team, the River Hawks were awarded the 2021 NFHCA Division I National Academic Team Award. The National Academic Team Award recognizes teams that have achieved a minimum combined GPA of 3.0 during the first semester of the academic year. UMass Lowell was one of 79 teams across the country to earn this honor. Including UMass Lowell, America East’s nine field hockey affiliates also received the team award. This marks the 10th consecutive year that UMass Lowell has received this academic recognition from the NFHCA.

Individually, 14 River Hawks have been named to the 2021 NFHCA Division I National Academic Team, matching a program record. Seniors Lauren Brushingham (Syracuse, NY) and Lindsey Kilpatrick (Manlius, NY) were honored for the fourth consecutive year. Classmates Lara Ansaldi (Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina) and Grace Davis (Waterloo, ON), junior Kate Miller (Cherry Hill, New Jersey), Berbel Rozema (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and Megan Salsinha (Westport, Mass.), second year Eleanor Boekhorst (Bilthoven, Netherlands), Gianna Conte (Salisbury, Mass.) Alisia de Vries (The Hague, Netherlands), Mirthe Gans (Tiel Netherlands) and Sage Valente (Watertown, Connecticut), and freshmen Cate Kleeman (Gibbsboro, NJ) and Jillian Loebs (Acton, Mass.) have also been recognized.

The National Academic Team includes all student-athletes with a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher during the first semester of the 2021-22 academic year. In total, more than 1,370 student-athletes from more than 80 Division I institutions have received this honor.

Additionally, six River Hawks were named NFHCA Scholars of Distinction, matching another program record. The Division I Scholars of Distinction program recognizes student-athletes who have achieved a GPA of 3.9 or higher during the first semester of the 2021-22 academic year. Salsinha won the honor for the third consecutive year and were joined by Boekhorst, Brushingham, de Vries, Gans and Kleeman.

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