CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), Katherine Nagengast (Westborough, Mass.) and Emma Erler (New Hampton, N.H.) of the ninth-ranked University of New Hampshire field hockey team were among the 11 student-athletes named to the 2011 America East Field Hockey All-Academic Team, the conference announced Tuesday afternoon.
These student-athletes, who excel both academically as well as athletically, represent the best of the America East conference. Erler is a repeat honoree from the 2010 team, while Nagengast was a unanimous selection to this year's squad.
Bozek, voted to both the 2011 America East All-Conference Second Team and Longstreth/NFHCA Northeast Region Second Team earlier this month. The sophomore back, whose major is secondary math education, started all 22 games and tallied five goals and one assist for 11 points as an integral part of the offensive penalty corner unit. That included the game-winning goal in the America East title game against Boston University as well as a goal in the NCAA first-round game vs. Michigan.
Bozek tallied a career-high three points (one goal, one assist) at Providence on Sept. 4. She led the Wildcats in defensive saves with three and was also a prominent part of the Wildcats' defensive penalty corner unit.
Nagengast, another 2011 All-Conference Second Team honoree, started 20 of 21 games in goal for New Hampshire. She had a 16-5 record with a 1.93 GAA, .721 save percentage and four shutouts. In four America East games, the senior went 3-1 with a 1.43 GAA, .750 save percentage and two shutouts.
Nagengast, a pedagogy major, was nearly unbeatable at home, as she posted a 9-1 record, 0.87 GAA, .837 save percentage and four shutouts at Memorial Field. She matched her career-high of 12 saves in the season opener at nationally-ranked Ohio State University (Aug. 27) and again Oct. 16 vs. nationally-ranked Boston College. In addition to regular-season shutouts against nationally-ranked Northeastern, Fairfield and University of Maine, she was a part of two team shutouts (Brown University and Holy Cross).
Nagengast was named to the America East All-Championship Team after a four-save shutout effort against Albany in the semifinals and a three-save performance against Boston U. that backboned UNH to the tournament title.
Erler, a junior attack whose major is environmental horticulture, started all 22 games. She tied for third on the team in assists (10) and ranked fourth in points (18). Both those numbers, as well as four goals and 27 shots, marked personal single-season highs. Erler ranked fourth in America East in assists per game. In addition to her contributions on offense, she was an integral part of the defensive penalty corner unit.
Erler recorded career highs in both assists (two) and points (four) against the College of the Holy Cross on Sept. 16. She also had two assists the next game against nationally-ranked Northeastern University. Her other season highlights included a one-goal, one-assist performance at Michigan State (Oct. 2).
All-Academic squads for team sports are based on the number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time (e.g., 11 on the field for field hockey) but can be more if there is a tie in voting. To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team's games or competitions. In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution. Freshmen are not eligible for consideration.
UNH (17-5), under the guidance of 21st-year head coach Robin Balducci – recipient of the 2010 and 2011 America East Coaching Staff of the Year, won the America East regular-season and tournament titles en route to advancing to the NCAA Championship for the first time since the 2000 season. This year's squad tied the benchmark for wins in a season established by the 1986 national runner-up team and broke the single-season records for goals (78), assists (61) and points (217).