Nov. 7, 2013
Rosemont, Ill. -
The Big Ten Conference announced its 2013 field hockey All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners on Thursday, with Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern and Penn State collecting individual honors. Wolverine Rachael Mack was tabbed Player of the Year, and was a unanimous selection for Offensive Player of the Year. Nittany Lion Brittany Grzywacz was a unanimous pick for Defensive Player of the Year. Hawkeye Stephanie Norlander picked up Freshman of the Year accolades and Wildcat head coach Tracey Fuchs earned Coach of the Year recognition.
Mack earned Player and Offensive Player of the Year accolades after leading the conference in nearly every offensive category this season, including shots (119), shots per game (6.3), points (48), points per game (2.5), goals (21), goals per game (1.11) and tied for first in game-winning goals (seven). Her award marks the seventh time a Wolverine has been tabbed Offensive Player of the Year and the first since Lucia Belassi in 2007. The Big Ten honors a Player of the Year for the first time since 2006. Mack is the fourth Wolverine to earn the award and first since Adrienne Hortillosa in 2004.
Grzywacz reeled in Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row. She becomes the sixth player in Big Ten history to win the award twice and the first since fellow Nittany Lion Jen Long took home the honors in 2007 and 2008. The senior led Penn State to its second consecutive Big Ten Championship and anchored a defense that allowed just seven goals in Big Ten play, which tied for the conference lead. Additionally, Grzywacz ranked second on the Nittany Lions in points (23) and goals (10).
Norlander earned top billing among freshmen after finishing the 2013 campaign with eight goals, including three gamewinners. She becomes the fourth Hawkeye to earn Freshman of the Year honors and the first since Meghan Beamesderfer in 2006.
Fuchs led Northwestern to its sixth Big Ten Championship and first since 1994. The Wildcats compiled a 15-4 overall record and a 5-1 mark in conference play en route to Fuchs’ first Coach of the Year honor. The award marks the third time a Northwestern coach has won the accolade and the first since Marisa Didio in 1994. Fuchs helped the Wildcats to a final regular-season ranking of No. 13, and guided Northwestern to a No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
Mack, Grzywacz and Northwestern’s Nikki Parsley earned unanimous spots on the All-Big Ten first team and were joined by Indiana’s Audra Heilman, Iowa’s Natalie Cafone and Dani Hemeon, Michigan’s Ainsley McCallister, Michigan State’s Abby Barker, Northwestern’s Tara Puffenberger and Penn State’s Laura Gebhart and Kylie Licata.
The Big Ten also recognized seven Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
The complete list of All-Big Ten honorees and Sportsmanship Award honorees can be found above.