PRESS RELEASE: ZAG / NFHCA Division III National Academic Team Award (PDF)
CHANDLER, Ariz. – In recognition of its outstanding academic achievements in the classroom, the Wells College field hockey team received the 2015 ZAG Field Hockey / National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III National Academic Team Award, the organization announced on Monday.
Led by Head Coach Kat Heterbring, her team's student-athletes combined to post a 3.60 grade-point average which stands as the nation's fifth-best mark, trailing only Elizabethtown College (3.70), Marywood University (3.63), Earlham College (3.62) and Salisbury University (3.61). The Express last won the annual award in 2004.
Monday's announcement by the NFHCA adds to what was a highly-successful season for the program as, for the first time in the team's 40-year history as a varsity sport, the Express captured its first-ever conference championship this past October, winning the North Eastern Athletic Conference league title after defeating Wilson College by a 1-0 score.
The Express also had three players earn NEAC All-Conference honors after outstanding performances during the regular season. Senior Shelby Bourn (Sidney, N.Y.) won the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, joining junior Shianne Stokes (Mays Landing, N.J.) and senior Cat Taylor (Jackson, N.J.) on the league's All-Conference list.
Across the previous two seasons under Heterbring, the team has seen an uptick in its offensive potency. Wells has scored 37 goals and 23 assists for 97 points of offense (37-23=97) during that span, the strongest consecutive offensive output by the Express in recent memory.
Wells has joined the North Atlantic Conference in advance of the 2016 season - the Express now has the opportunity to earn an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III field hockey tournament for the first time in team history.