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UAlbany Field Hockey Brings in Seven Newcomers for 2017 Season

UAlbany Sports Information   06-08-2017

ALBANY, N.Y. – UAlbany field hockey head coach Phil Sykes has announced the addition of seven new players to the squad for the 2017 season.

The seven newcomers include six freshmen and one transfer.  The class includes players from four different countries.

“We are extremely excited for our 2017 incoming recruiting class,” said Sykes. “We will add a great deal to our midfield and attack, as well as our overall speed and athleticism.  What I like most about our newest Great Danes is how competitive and team oriented everyone is!”

Coach Sykes enters his 14th season at the helm of UAlbany.  He surpassed the 175-victory mark in 2016, standing with 178 in his time with the Great Danes.  UAlbany has earned double digit victories every year with 2006.

In 2017, the Great Danes earned their third consecutive America East regular season title and second in the divisional era, finishing 14-6 overall with a 7-1 league record, falling in overtime in the America East Tournament semifinals.

Ghislaine Beerkens – Laren, the Netherlands
Beerkens is the first Great Dane from the Netherlands since 2015 graduate Fiori Van Rijswijk.  She currently plays for the Laren Club since 2011 and is now on the A1 team in the highest national league in Holland.  She played in the Dutch Title playoffs from 2010 to 2015, helping her team win the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in 2012.

Katie MacCallum – Edinburgh, Scotland – George Watsons College
MacCallum will be UAlbany's first player from Scotland since Laura Page graduated in 2015.  A member of the U18 Scotland National Team with experience at the U16 and U15 levels as well, she led her high school team, George Watsons College, with 36 goals in 28 games.  She has played for the Watsonians Hockey Club since the age of eight. 

Carli Pelletier – Clifton Park, N.Y. – Shenendehowa
Pelletier is the latest Shenendehowa graduate to become a Great Dane, joining current teammates Anna Bottino and Melissa Nealon.  A two-time Section II All-Star, Pelletier helped the Plainsmen to a pair of regional championships and the 2016 New York State Class A championship, finishing her career with 23 goals and 18 assists.  Pelletier plays club for ADK and was a member of the National Hockey Festival gold medal team.

Cosima Rocktaeschel – Leipzig, Germany
Rocktaeschel hails from eastern Germany and has competed at the U19 and U17 national levels in her country.  She currently plays for ATV Leipzig in the Second Bundesliga, the second-highest national league in Germany. She led her indoor team to the U19 state championship in 2015 and was a member of the all-star teams from 2010-14.

Liz Ryan – Hoosick Falls, N.Y. – Hoosick Falls, N.Y.
The all-time goals leader in Section II, Ryan will stay in the Capital District to suit up for UAlbany.  A five-year letterwinner at Hoosick Falls, Ryan tallied 113 goals in her career and led the Panthers to the Section II Class C title in 2016.  She was named a top-100 player in the class of 2017 by MAX Field Hockey and earned Times Union First Team All-Star honors in 2016.  Ryan is a player for ADK in club competition, part of the Premiere Indoor League National Title team in 2016. 

Rachel Schaunnauer – Whitehall, Pa. – Whitehall
A three-sport athlete at Whitehall High, Schaunnauer is one of the top players from the state of Pennsylvania, earning second team all-state honors her final two years.  She scored 25 goals and 15 assists as a back line player for the Zephyrs, being named a three-time all-Eastern Pennsylvania Conference player, including first team in 2016.  She plays club for XCalibur, one of the top teams in the state.

Billi Wehrer – Schwabach, Germany – University of Bayreuth
From Bavaria in southeast Germany comes Wehrer.  In 14 seasons playing field hockey with the Bavarian Junior Hockey Team, she has over 300 points in her playing career.  She has led her Bavarian team to top-3 league finishes nine different years, and has played in the 2nd league since 2016 after being in the 3rd league from 2013-16.

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