FOUR WARRIORS NAMED ALL-AMERICANS; 14 ALL-AMERICANS IN LAST THREE SEASONS
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – After helping the program advance to its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Final Four, the Merrimack College field hockey team landed four representatives on the Longstreth/NFHCA All-America Teams, as announced Monday afternoon.
Three seniors: forwards Jessica Otis (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Candace Waldie (North Andover, Mass.) and defender Sarah Dunbar (Hubbardston, Mass.), as well as junior defender Katie Bishop (Conway, N.H.) all garnered All-American status on Monday; for Otis, Waldie and Dunbar, it marked their second straight season on the All-America Team, while Bishop earned the prestigious distinction for the first time in her career.
"I could not be more proud for our four All-Americans and for our program today," head coach Anne Rounce noted. "I know they may not realize it right now, but it's so, so difficult to become an All-American, especially as a defender because they don't have the stats that offensive players do to bolster their resumes. All four of them were cornerstones and were huge reasons as to why we were so successful this year."
Otis, a two-time First-Team All-American after being named to the squad in 2012, finished 2013 with 34 points (11 goals, 12 assists), ranking sixth nationally in assists per game and 13th in points per game. She tallied two game-winners and was the catalyst of Merrimack's offense, which finished the reason ranked seventh nationally.
Waldie, named to the All-America Second Team for the second year in a row, led the Warriors in scoring thanks to her team-leading 45 points (16g, 13a). She posted four game-winners and ranked in the top-10 nationally in goals, assists and points per game.
Also a repeat Second-Team All-America honoree, Dunbar was the leader of one of the most formidable defensive units in the entire country, one that yielded just 1.66 goals per game. She finished the year ranked fourth nationally with seven defensive saves, while Bishop – when she wasn't busy representing one of the team's top shut-down defenders – also blasted 18 shot attempts and scored once on the year, as well, pairing with Dunbar to form an impressive one-two punch on defense.
"It's so great to see that they got the recognition they deserve," Rounce continued. "Especially because we didn't bring home the bigger title, this makes it that much more special that they can feel great how they ended the season, and for Jess, Candace and Sarah, end their careers on such a high note. For Katie, her first All-America honor shows how much progress she has made and we're so excited to have her returning and have a key person that we could build our foundation on for next year as we continue to raise the bar to the next level."
After seeing six student-athletes named All-Americans last year and four the year before, Merrimack has graduated seven All-Americans in the last two seasons alone but despite that boasts the longest active streak of reaching the National Semifinals of any school in the North Region.
"Despite all we've lost, we've been able to reload each year and maintain our high level that we aim to be at year in and year out," Rounce mentioned. "To do that, and to still see us so well represented on all-conference and All-American teams is a testament to our hard work, and we will continue to do so as we aim for even greater heights next fall."