From left to right Helen Doolittle, Natalie Barr, head coach Jodi Murphy, Emily Dinsmore, Abbey Basom and Sarah Gipe.
Liberty freshmen Natalie Barr and Sarah Gipe along with head coach Jodi Murphy, were awarded NorPac season honors on Wednesday night at the NorPac Field Hockey Banquet at Longwood's Blackwell Hall. Barr collected the East Division Offensive Player of the Year award, while Gipe earned the Maria Whitehead Rookie of the Year honor. Murphy was tabbed the Co-Coach of the Year with Stanford's Tara Danielson.
Additionally, Barr and freshman Abbey Basom were placed on the East Division All-Conference team, while sophomore Helen Doolittle earned a spot on the All-Academic team for the Lady Flames.
Stacey de Grandhomme of Longwood brought home the East Division Player of the Year honor, while Davidson goalie Sarah Fisher was voted the East Division Defensive Player of the Year. In the West, Stanford's Becky Dru garnered the Player of the Year award, while her teammate Kelsey Harbin was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year. Lara Kruggel of California was honored as the West Division Offensive Player of the Year.
In just its second year of existence, Murphy has taken the Liberty field hockey program to great heights this season. The second-year head coach has guided her young squad to a conference-best mark of 14-5 entering the NorPac Tournament. The Lady Flames have won eight more games than all of last season, while capturing the NorPac East Division regular season title with a 7-1 mark in conference play.
Barr finished the regular season ranked third in the conference in goals (14) and tied for third in assists with seven. The freshman performed on the defensive end of the field as well, recording a team-best four defensive saves. The Northern Ireland native's 14 goals currently places her in a tie for first in the nation among freshmen. Barr also ranks in the top 10 in the conference in every other major offensive statistical category, including shots (77), shots per game (4.53), points (35), points per game (2.06), goals per game (0.82), assists (7) and assists per game (0.41). On Oct. 19, the freshman set the Liberty single-game record for points (9) and goals (4) against Appalachian State.
Gipe concluded the regular season ranked second on the team with 28 points and 13 goals. The freshman sits in the top 10 in the NorPac in numerous offensive categories, including shots (37), shots per game (1.95), points (28), points per game (1.47), goals (13) and goals per game (0.68). The Pennsylvania native has tallied three multiple-goal games and paced the Lady Flames with four game-winning goals.
Basom started 18 of 19 games this season for Liberty, finishing the regular season with 20 points on seven goals and six assists. The freshman has also tallied 37 shots, which is second on the squad. The Pennsylvania native has tallied a pair of multiple-assist games and one multiple-goal game this season. Among conference leaders, Basom finished in the top 10 in shots (37), shots per game (2.58), points (20), points per game (1.05) and assists (6).
Doolittle, an Interdisciplinary Studies major, currently holds a 4.0 grade-point average and was one of nine players selected to the All-Academic squad. The sophomore started all 19 games for the Lady Flames this season, finishing with four goals and three assists. Doolittle also helped to anchor Liberty's defense, which finished first in the conference in numerous defensive categories.
The East Division regular season champion Lady Flames enter the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed from the East. The Lady Flames battle Pacific in the first round on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
2012 NorPac Field Hockey Award Winners
East All-Conference Stacey de Grandhomme, MF, Longwood Annie Evans, MF, Davidson Natalie Barr, MF, Liberty Finely Amato, F, Davidson Casey Lammando, D, Appalachian State Jessica Diaz, F, Longwood Christina Verhulst, MF, Longwood Abbey Basom, F, Liberty Alayna Versage, D, Radford Leslie Thomas, F, Appalachian State Sarah Fisher, GK, Davidson
West All-Conference Lara Kruggel, MF, California Becky Dru, D, Stanford Kelsey Harbin, D, Stanford Emily Tregoning, MF, Pacific Alex McCawley, MF, Stanford Deanna Kennedy, D, California Casey Wollbrinck, D, UC Davis Maddie Secco, MF, Stanford Shannon Elmitt, MF, California Hope Burke, F, Stanford Dulcie Davies, GK, Stanford
East Player of the Year Stacey de Grandhomme, MF, Longwood
West Player of the Year Becky Dru, D, Stanford
East Offensive Player of the Year Natalie Barr, MF, Liberty
West Offensive Player of the Year Lara Kruggel, MF, California
East Defensive Player of the Year Sarah Fisher, GK, Davidson
West Defensive Player of the Year Kelsey Harbin, D, Stanford
Maria Whitehead Rookie of the Year Sarah Gipe, F, Liberty
All-Academic Team Hope Burke, Jr., Stanford Brit Donaldson, Sr., Davidson Helen Doolittle, So., Liberty Emily Knapp, Jr., Appalachian State Emily Mecke, Sr., UC Davis Jordan O'Reilly, Jr., California Caitlin Smith, Jr., Longwood Emily Trudeau, Sr., Pacific Alayna Versage, Jr., Radford
Sheryl Johnson Academic Excellence Award Emily Trudeau, Sr., Pacific
Julie Nagel Extraordinary Teammate Dana Wetmore, Appalachian State
Co-Coaches of the Year Jodi Murphy, Liberty Tara Danielson, Stanford
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