The MIT field hockey team recorded the highest grade point average in Division III and had 11 student-athletes earn a spot on the National Academic Squad, with five being named Scholars of Distinction, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) announced this week.
The Engineers compiled a 3.56 GPA on a 4.0 scale, besting Ramapo College, Wesleyan University, Richard Stockton College and Simmons College, to earn their 11th straight National Academic Team Award. This award is given to those institutions that achieve a minimum 3.0 team GPA during the 2012 fall semester. Among all field hockey programs, MIT finished second in the nation to the Division I squad from Central Michigan University. To be eligible for the National Academic Squad, student-athletes must have achieved a cumulative 3.30 GPA through the first semester of the 2012-13 academic year.
This year, the NFHCA established the Scholar of Distinction program, which recognizes student-athletes with a 3.9 GPA or higher. Senior Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.); junior Maddy Wharton (Swarthmore, Pa.); and sophomores Elizabeth Dethy (Morristown, N.J.), Sarah Fay (South Hadley, Mass.) and Caitlin Mackey (San Diego, Calif.) represented MIT on this list. The Engineers had the second-highest total across all three divisions, as they were the runner-up to NEWMAC foe WPI, which produced six selections.
McShane and fellow senior Michelle Dion (Lunenburg, Mass.) earned their third straight selection, while Wharton and junior Michelle Teplensky (Somers, N.Y.) received their second award. Dethy, Fay and Mackey, along with senior Kimberly Barker (Camden, N.Y.) and sophomores Diane Kim (Acton, Mass.), Jenna Klein (Parma, Ohio) and K.K. Wopat (Edwardsville, Ill.) were first-time honorees.
During its 2012 campaign, MIT compiled a record of 17-3, clinched its third NEWMAC title in four years and reached the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship. Head coach Cheryl Silva was tabbed for NFHCA New England East Region Coach of the Year accolades for the second time in her career, while McShane became the first player in program history to be a four-time All-America honoree. Wharton also picked up All-America plaudits as Teplensky and junior Erin Kenney (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) earned spots on the NFHCA New England East All-Region Team.