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Liberty Field Hockey Features 6 VaSID All-State Honorees

June 8, 2021  Lynchburg. Va.   RSS
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Bolton has been named the VaSID Player of the Year.

Bolton has been named the VaSID Player of the Year.

The Liberty Lady Flames field hockey program featured a program-record six players on the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) University Division Field Hockey All-State teams, including two major award winners in Jill Bolton and Azul Irixity Irigoyen.

Bolton has been named the VaSID Offensive Player of the Year. Iritxity Irigoyen is being honored as the VaSID Defensive Player of the Year and Co-Rookie of the Year. Both players also garnered inclusion on the all-state first team.

Joining Bolton and Iritxity Irigoyen on the VaSID All-State first team are Daniella Rhodes and Jodie Conolly. This is the first time in school history that the Lady Flames have featured four first team all-state selections. Rounding out Liberty's honorees are Charlotte Vaanhold and Bethany Dykema, who earned spots on the VaSID All-State second team.

Bolton, a senior forward, is the second VaSID Player of the Year in Liberty field hockey history, joining Agueda Moroni (2018). She earns her fourth career VaSID All-State distinction as well, including three first team recognitions.

An NFHCA All-South Region first team and All-BIG EAST first team recipient, Bolton concluded the year ranked third in the nation in assists per game (0.81), fifth in points per game (2.56) and 10th in goals per game (0.88). She was a two-time Play Safe/NFHCA Division I Offensive Player of the Week this past spring and a three-time BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week.

Bolton paced Liberty in assists (13) and points (41) and ranked second on the team in goals with 14. The Souderton, Pa., native currently ranks No. 3 in program history for career assists (27), tied for third in points (111) and fourth in goals (42).

Iritxity Irigoyen, a freshman goalkeeper, becomes the first VaSID Defensive Player of the Year in program history. She is the third VaSID Rookie of the Year in school history, joining Rhodes (2019) and Allison Schaefer (2016). The VaSID All-State first team honoree was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, Co-Freshman of the Year and All-BIG EAST first team.

The Buenos Aires, Argentina native was selected as the Play Safe/NFHCA Division I Defensive Player of the Week on March 24 and earned four BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week accolades.  Irixity Irigoyen finished her first season at Liberty ranked No. 9 in the country in goalie win-loss percentage (.769), No. 11 in save percentage (.800) and No. 15 in goals-against-average (1.19).

She posted an 11-3 record, a 1.19 goals-against-average, 64 saves and three shutouts in 15 contests (13 starts). The freshman netminder made 12 saves in Liberty's 4-0 shutout of UConn on March 14 and made 12 stops in the Lady Flames' 3-2 double overtime triumph at Duke, March 21.

Rhodes, a sophomore forward, is being recognized on the VaSID All-State first team for the second time during her career after earning the same honor as well as VaSID Freshman of the Year distinction during the fall 2019 campaign. An NFHCA All-South Region first team honoree as well this year, Rhodes also was a unanimous All-BIG EAST first team selection in 2021.

The Durban, South Africa native led the Lady Flames with 16 goals and ranked fifth in the nation in goals per game (1.00) and sixth in points per game (2.38) at season's end. Rhodes also had six assists and a team-best 38 points. She was tabbed the NFHCA Division I Offensive Player of the Week on Feb. 17, BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Feb. 15 and a four-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recipient.

Conolly, a sophomore defender, earns the first VaSID recognition of her career during her first season at Liberty. The native of Pietermartizburg, South Africa was an All-BIG EAST first team honoree and NFHCA All-South Region second team recipient. Conolly tallied seven goals, two assists and 16 points in 16 games, all starts. She earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on April 5. The defender helped Liberty record six shutouts during the spring campaign while ranking No. 11 in the nation in goals-against-average.

Vaanhold, a junior forward, is being honored on the VaSID All-State team for the first time in her career. An NFHCA All-South Region second team honoree and All-BIG EAST first team recipient, Vaanhold was one of three Lady Flames to score 10 or more goals this season. The Hollandsche Rading, Netherlands native scored 10 times in 16 games and finished the season ranked No. 26 in the country in goals per (0.62) while adding two assists and 22 points. She was Liberty's only player to have a pair of three-goal games this season, doing so at home versus Villanova (Feb. 21) and Davidson (April 11).

Dykema, a sophomore defender, earns her first VaSID honor. The Newport News, Va., native was also selected to the NFHCA All-South Region second team and All-BIG EAST second team. Dykema finished second on the team with 12 assists and had four goals, 20 points and one defensive save. The BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week on April 5, she ranked fourth in the nation in assists per game (0.75). Dykema and the Liberty defense surrendered only four penalty corner goals in 16 games and helped the team finish second in the country in scoring margin (2.46).

VaSID Offensive Player of the Year
Jill Bolton, Liberty

VaSID Defensive Player of the Year
Azul Irixity Irigoyen, Liberty

VaSID Rookie of the Year
Azul Irixity Irigoyen, Liberty

Marlon de Bruijne, Old Dominion

Coach of the Year
Stacey Bean, VCU

VaSID All-State First Team
F – Jill Bolton, Liberty

F – Marlon de Bruijne, Old Dominion
F – Laura Janssen, Virginia
F – Daniella Rhodes, Liberty
M – Caroline Cahill, James Madison
M – Olivia Frazier, Richmond
M – Delphine Le Jeune, Old Dominion
M – Maite Sturm, VCU
D – Jodie Conolly, Liberty
D – Amber Ezechiels, Virginia
D – Janne Wetzel, VCU
GK – Sasha Elliott, VCU
GK – Azul Irixity Irigoyen, Liberty

VaSID All-State Second Team
F – Karly Harwood, Longwood
F – Charlotte Vaanhold, Liberty
F – Eveline Swager, James Madison
M – Bridget McCormick, VCU
M – Annie McDonough, Virginia
M – Cara Menges, William & Mary
D – Steffie Bongers, Richmond
D – Bethany Dykema, Liberty
D – Litiana Field, VCU
D – Rachel Robinson, Virginia
GK – Kimi Jones, William & Mary
GK – Erika Latta, Richmond