Nov. 20, 2012
EASTON, Pa. – Lafayette field hockey head coach Andrew Griffiths was named the Division I Coach of the Year by Synapse Sports, it was announced Monday and senior co-captain Deanna DiCroce earned Second and Third Team All-America honors by Synapse and the NFHCA.
DiCroce was honored as a Second Team All-American by Synapse and a Third Team All-American by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). DiCroce finished the year in seventh nationally in points per game (2.55) and assists per game (0.75). She was also top-ten in goals per game in the eighth spot with 0.9 per contest.
"It's great for Deanna to be featured prominently on the national stage,” Griffiths added. “The honor is well deserved for her performances."
In the Patriot League, DiCroce led all players in points and goals with 51 and 18, respectively. She also sat right behind Valeo for the League-lead in assists with 15.
Griffiths, in his sixth season on College Hill, led his team to the first at-large bid to an NCAA Tournament in school and Patriot League history, falling to Maryland in the first round, 2-0.
"I'm grateful to receive this recognition,” Griffiths said. “I see it as a reflection of all the efforts of our coaching staff and support staff, but mainly the hard work of the players."
This year’s team notched a seven-win improvement from a year ago, featuring two wins over ranked teams and conference champions. On Sept. 14, two goals from sophomore midfielder Brittany Blass catapulted the Leopards to a win over No. 15 Drexel, the first win over a ranked team for the program since 2009. Drexel would go on to win the CAA and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Just eight days later, the team traveled to Albany, N.Y. to take on No. 21 Albany, another team that would win its conference and play in the NCAA’s. Sophomore defender Jenna Seybert tied the game on a corner in the 56th minute and senior co-captain Emily Valeo put a move on three defenders on her way to the game-winning goal in the 87th minute for the victory.
NFHCA Coach of the Year voting will be released on Dec. 3.