UAlbany Field Hockey Earns League-Best Three Major Awards in America East Yearly Honors
STOCKTON, Calif. – After winning the East Division, the UAlbany field hockey team picked up three America East major awards, half of the league’s total, plus placed four on the division’s All-Conference Team.
Paula Heuser was chosen as the America East Midfielder of the Year, Maxi Primus was voted as the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year while the crew of Phil Sykes, Andy Thornton and Michelle Simpson is honored as the conference’s Coaching Staff of the Year. As a team, UAlbany earns three of the league’s six major awards.
Heuser becomes the first America East player to earn five conference major awards. She has been named the America East Midfielder of the Year all four years playing plus was the 2013 America East Rookie of the Year. Primus earns her second Goalkeeper of the Year league honor, also being named in 2014. Head coach Phil Sykes earns his fourth America East Coaching Staff of the Year award.
Heuser, Primus, Jaclyn Hibbs and Frederike Helmke were placed on the league’s East Division All-Conference Team. In addition, Dana Bozek and Viola Von der Mühlen got selected to the All-Rookie Team while Heuser, Primus, Kelsey Briddell and Molly Mariano all earned a spot on the All-Academic Team.
The awards were voted on by the league’s nine head coaches.
Heuser, a four-time all-conference player, is the East Division’s leading scorer with 16 goals and 12 assists for 44 points on the year, each team-bests, including being second in the league with 2.62 points per game in conference-only contests. The two-time America East Player of the Week also earned a place on the All-Academic Team with a 3.85 GPA in business.
Primus also earned all-conference honors for the fourth time and leads the America East with a 1.11 goals allowed average and a 76.1% save rate. She has an East Division best 13 victories, holding conference opponents to 0.57 goals per game. Off the field, Primus earned a spot on the All-Academic Team with a 3.87 GPA in psychology.
Sykes, Thornton and Simpson coached the Great Danes to their third consecutive, and sixth overall, regular season league title, and second straight East Division title in as many years. The team stands with a #17 national ranking in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) poll and went 7-1 in the East Division this season.
Hibbs get tabbed to the all-conference team for the third time, and second in as many years. The senior has started all 18 games on the UAlbany back line with a pair of defensive saves, adding a goal and four assists on the offensive end.
Helmke earns her first all-conference team selection, being a factor on both sides of the field. The sophomore stands with four goals and six assists for 14 points, including a pair of penalty stroke goals, and has two defensive saves the other way.
Bozek joins the All-Rookie Team as a member of the UAlbany defense and penalty corner unit. She leads all UAlbany freshmen with four goals, adding a pair of assists in 16 starts, including two goals and two assists in league games.
Von der Mühlen notched a place on the All-Rookie Team and has served as UAlbany’s primary penalty corner player. With almost all scoring coming on penalty corners, she has earned three goals and three assists in 16 games played.
Briddell has started all 18 games at forward for UAlbany, standing with two goals and eight assists, tied for 12th in the league in the latter category, plus taking 41 penalty corners. She was placed on the All-Academic Team with a 3.72 GPA in human biology.
Mariano is tied for third in the league with 14 goals and first in conference only games with 11 goals, earning America East Player of the Week the final week of the season. Her 3.79 GPA in human biology landed her a place on the All-Academic Team.
The awards were announced at the annual America East Tournament banquet in Stockton, California.
The rest of the America East major awards were Marguerite van Wyk of Pacific for Offensive Player of the Year, Caroline Beaudoin of Stanford for Defensive Player of the Year and Kelsey Bing of Stanford for Rookie of the Year.
UAlbany will take on UC Davis in the quarterfinals on the America East Tournament tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. PT) on the campus of the University of the Pacific.