LU field hockey places 8 on MAC All-Academic Team

Published 10:53 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

After a historic season that included the Longwood University field hockey program’s first trip to the Mid-American Championship Tournament and a near-upset of No. 2 seed Miami University (of Ohio) in the semifinals, the Lancers placed eight student-athletes on the Academic All-Mid-American Conference (MAC) Team.

Headlining the group were three-time Academic All-MAC Team selection Jordan Chapman, All-MAC first-team selections Edel Nyland and Ellen Ross and All-MAC second-team choices Lil-Sophie Achterwinter and Leonie Verstraete. Joining those five were juniors Kate Colley, Brenna Kinzel and Abbey Ripley, all of whom contributed to Longwood’s 9-9 overall record, 3-3 MAC record and third-place finish in the final MAC standings.

The Academic All-MAC honor is for those student-athletes who have excelled on the field and in the classroom. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport.

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Longwood’s eight academic selections tied for the third-most in the MAC and came on the heels of Longwood’s 11 Academic All-MAC honorees in 2015, which were a program-best.

Chapman received her third consecutive Academic All-MAC award, while Achterwinter, Colley, Kinzel, Nyland and Ross each earned the second such honors of their careers.

Achterwinter, a native of Dusseldorf, Germany, and a business administration major, took home her second straight academic honor with a 3.64 GPA. She started 16 games in her junior season, scoring three goals with three assists while anchoring a Longwood backfield that held opponents to 2.4 goals allowed per game.

Chapman, a senior defender from Williamsburg, amassed a 3.53 GPA as a communication science and disorders major. An 18-game starter, she logged career highs in goals (three), assists (five) and points (10) with one of those goals coming in game-winning fashion in a 4-3 victory over Davidson College on Sept. 11.

Colley, a midfielder from Fredericksburg, has maintained a team-best 3.90 GPA as a chemistry major during a season in which she started all 18 games and played a career-high 925 minutes. Colley scored twice in her junior season, doing so on just five shots.

Kinzel, a midfielder from Virginia Beach, holds a 3.82 GPA as a liberal studies major with an emphasis on elementary education. She started 12 games and appeared in all 18 during her junior season, scoring one goal and dishing one assist.

Nyland, who capped her junior season as the No. 4 goal-scorer in the NCAA, also excelled in the classroom, clocking a 3.78 GPA as a psychology major. The Tipperary, Ireland, native’s 18 goals broke Longwood’s Division I single-season record and ranked atop the MAC scoring list at the end of the regular season. She added six assists and 42 total points, scoring all three of her game-winning goals in conference play.

Ripley, a Midlothian product, boasts a 3.65 GPA as a biology major. Her junior campaign featured 14 starts, three goals and four assists from the front line, contributing to a Longwood offensive onslaught that led the MAC with 50 goals on the season. Her biggest game of the season came in a 4-3 win at Liberty University on Sept. 20 in which she scored one goal and assisted on two, including the 69th-minute game-winner to Verstraete.

Ross, a senior from Virginia Beach majoring in exercise science, took home her second straight Academic All-MAC award with a 3.47 GPA. A three-time team captain, she led Longwood in minutes played for the third straight year and concluded her storied career by starting every single game of her four years in Farmville. Ross anchored Longwood from the center midfield, helping the Lancers to the third-best scoring margin in the MAC.

Verstraete, a native of Utrecht, The Netherlands, also excelled in the classroom, logging a 3.46 GPA as a psychology major. The sophomore forward was the other half of Longwood’s vaunted offensive duo alongside Nyland, complementing her junior counterpart with 14 goals and seven assists. Verstraete ranked 25th in the nation in goals per game and 26th in assists per game and was the only player in the MAC to rank among the league’s top-5 in both goals and assists.