The VCU field hockey team was named a Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I National Academic Team after posting the third-highest GPA in the country for the fall 2016 semester.
In a season where the Rams finished a disappointing seventh out of ninth place in the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Black and Gold were able to respond by balancing their 7-11 record on the field with impressive numbers in the classroom.
The Black and Gold posted an impressive 3.58 overall team GPA for the fall semester — good for third-highest among Division I NFHCA member institutions across the country. They improved on the previous season’s similarly notable figures after posting the fifth-highest national GPA of 3.5 in 2015.
In addition to VCU’s National Academic Team honors, two Rams were named Division I Scholars of Distinction, while 17 earned spots on the NFHCA All-Academic Squad.
Recently-hired Rams Head Coach Stacey Bean said she was proud of her new squad and their commitment to excellence both on and off the field.
“It’s obvious that this team set the bar high for themselves in the classroom,” Bean said. “I’m extremely proud of their efforts. This achievement would not be possible without the work that Elizabeth Smith and the rest of our Student-Athlete Academic Support Staff put in on a daily basis. Their commitment to the success of our student-athletes here at VCU is second to none.”
Freshmen Bentley Zabicki and Rebecca Ward earned Division I Scholar of Distinction honors after the midfield duo posted cumulative GPAs of 3.9 or higher on the semester.
In total, 17 of 24 Rams field hockey players earned All-Academic honors by posting a 3.3 GPA or higher during the fall, with seniors Kelsey Hideshima, Kaylee Maunz and Sydney Weise closing out their collegiate careers as four-year members of the NFHCA All-Academic Squad.
The Rams, led by rising junior and VASID All-State First Team forward Emily McNamara, will look to defend their back-to-back National Academic Team honors as they once again take to both the field and the classroom in August.
Nick Versaw, Staff Writer