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Field Hockey Adds 12 Incoming Players

July 11, 2017

STORRS, Conn. – The UConn field hockey team welcomes 12 newcomers to the program for the 2017 season – including two players from the state of Connecticut and three from overseas – as it enters the campaign as five-time reigning Big East champions.

Head coach Nancy Stevens, the all-time wins leader in collegiate field hockey history (639), welcomes her incoming group for her 28th season at UConn and 39th overall as a head coach.

The Huskies, 2016 NCAA semifinalists, return 14 players from the 2016 roster – highlighted by the program’s all-time points and assists leader in senior Charlotte Veitner. Redshirt senior Nina Klein returns as goalkeeper, allowing a conference-best 1.22 goals per game last season.

UConn’s program will get a boost from the newcomers, who will travel to Storrs from as far as Australia and the Netherlands. 10 of the 12 incoming students were multi-sport athletes in high school – playing field hockey, as well as lacrosse, softball, or track.

"Our coaching staff is eager to welcome such a talented and diverse class of freshmen to preseason practices in August. This class includes strikers, midfielders, backs and a goalkeeper; so they literally could field an entire team,” said Stevens.


 

 

“We welcome players from the Netherlands, Australia and five states in the U.S.  This group brings talent, passion and a love for the game and several players will be expected to contribute from day one."

A multitude of team captains, MVPs, All-State, All-County and state champions make-up the list of first-year players for the Huskies. In early August, these players will report for practice as UConn focuses on the date of Aug. 25 – the home-opener against Stanford.

The complete list of incoming student-athletes is below:

Tori Albright

Hometown: Landisburg, Pa.

Position: Forward

High School: West Perry High School

Two-sport athlete in field hockey and track at West Perry…Four-year letter winner in field hockey, serving as captain in senior season…Mid-Penn All-Star in her junior and senior years…Part of the East Coast Field Hockey Club for seven years, traveling to Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, the Netherlands, and Barbados to train with and play against each country’s club and national teams…Participated in the USA Field Hockey Futures and Field Hockey Festival…Competed in USA Field Hockey’s Junior Premiere Indoor and Outdoor Leagues, winning first place in the Outdoor with the U-16 team in 2015…Two-year letter winner in track…Distinguished honors all four years of high school.

 

Rachel Alexander

Hometown: Gloucester, Mass.

Position: Forward

High School: Gloucester High School

Three-year letter winner in field hockey and four-year letter winner in lacrosse at Gloucester High…Boston Herald All-Scholastic Field Hockey player…MVP of the Northeastern Conference…Captain and All-Conference as a junior and senior…Gloucester Daily Times Female Athlete of the Year…Selected to Massachusetts Best of 60 All-Star Game…Team-leading scorer as junior and senior…Northeastern Conference champions in lacrosse in 2015 and 2016…All-Conference lacrosse player…Competed at Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center as a member of the track team…National Honor Society member…Academic achievement of averaging 90 or better all four years…Recognized by Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association of the Northeast as an outstanding female athlete who demonstrates leadership in the community.

 

Dina Alissi

Hometown: Hamden, Conn.

Position: Midfield

High School: Hamden High School

Multi-sport athlete in field hockey and softball at Hamden High School…Earned three letters in field hockey, serving as team captain in senior season…All-State First Team and First Team All-Conference…Ranked fourth in the Southern Connecticut Conference in scoring…Selected to play in Senior All-Star Game…All-Academic First Team athlete…Earned four letters in softball…Named All-Conference Second Team in 2017 and selected to play in the Umpires game (2017)…Member of National Honor Society…High honors all four years of high school.

 

Aubrie Bleier

Hometown: Pittsford, N.Y.

Position: Forward

Before UConn: Pittsford Sutherland High School

Transferred to UConn after two years at Siena College…Played in 11 games as a sophomore at Siena…Named to the MAAC All-Academic Team and NFHCA Academic Squad…Appeared in 16 games as a freshman, becoming the program’s first MAAC Rookie of the Week on Oct. 13…Earned three letters in field hockey and track and field at Pittsford Sutherland High School…All-State player in field hockey…First Team All-Monroe County and First Team All-Greater Rochester….Scored 26 goals and accounted for 20 assists in her high school career…Captain of the track and field team, setting a school record in the 4x4 relay…First Team All-Monroe County as a sprinter…Scholar-athlete at Pittsford Sutherland.

 

Natalie Burns

Hometown: Sewell, N.J.

Position: Forward

High School: Paul VI High School

Multi-sport athlete in field hockey and track, earning four letters in both…Varsity starter for four years in field hockey…First Team All-Conference in 2014, 2015, and 2016…Varsity captain in 2015 and 2016…Leading goal scorer at Paul VI in 2013, 2014 and 2016…First Team All-State Nonpublic, Fall of 2016…First Team All-Conference in track from 2014 to 2016…Competed in 4x400 relay, 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash and 400 meter dash…Named MVP of her high school track team and broke school record in 200 meter dash with a time of 25.75…First Honors academically in 2013-14 and 2014-15…National Honor Society member as junior and senior.

 

Emma Colesworthy

Hometown: Sherman, Conn.

Position: Midfield

High School: New Fairfield High School

Two-year letter winner in field hockey and four-year letter winner in lacrosse…Senior captain for field hockey at New Fairfield…First Team All-State and All-SWC in her final season…Senior captain for lacrosse…First Team All-SWC as a lacrosse player…Four-year honor roll student.

 

Jess Dembrowski

Hometown: Palmyra, Pa.

Position: Midfield

High School: Palmyra Area High School

Three-sport athlete at Palmyra Area High School…Four-year letter winner in field hockey and track, two letters in basketball…Field hockey captain as a junior and senior…2016 Mid Penn Player of the Year, First Team Regional All-American and First Team NFHCA All-American…Second Team Regional All-American and Mid Penn All-Star as a junior…Led team to three District 3 AAA Championships…Track and field captain as a senior…First-place finishes in the 4x800 and 4x400 as a sophomore at the Pan Ram Invitational, Lebanon County Invitational, and Mid Penn Conference Meet.

 

Kourtney Kennedy

Hometown: Watertown, Mass.

Position: Forward

High School: Watertown High School

Four-year letter winner in field hockey, while earning three letters in lacrosse…Senior captain for field hockey in 2016…Middlesex League All-Star and MVP in her final season…Two-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic Player of the Year and Boston Herald All-Scholastic…Two-time NFHCA All-Region Team and NFHCA Second Team All-American…Leading point-scorer in Massachusetts as junior and senior…Four-time Massachusetts Division II State Champions…High School team went 93-0 in her field hockey career…Ended career with 112 goals and 92 assists…Watertown Field Hockey team currently holds national record of games without a loss at 183…Participated in National Futures Championship each year from 2012 to 2016…Futures Elite in 2013 and 2014…Competed in Junior Olympics from 2013-2015…Played at Junior National Camp in 2014 and 2015…Participated on Boston Field Hockey Club…Captained lacrosse her junior year…Honor roll student.

 

Chiara Ma

Hometown: Perth, Western Australia

Position: Midfield

High School: Methodist Ladies’ College

Successful field hockey career at Methodist Ladies’ College…Elected as Co-Sports Prefect in 2016…From 2015-17, selected in Hockey WA Talent Accelerant Program (TAP) Girls…Named Best Junior Hockey Player in Methodist Ladies’ College K Maddock Cup…2016 Certificate of Merit as awarded by Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE).

 

Cheyenne Sprecher

Hometown: Palmyra, Pa.

Position: Goalkeeper

High School: Palmyra Area High School

Multi-sport athlete in field hockey and lacrosse, earning three letters in both…Three-year varsity starter in field hockey…Helped team reach three PIAA AAA state championship finals from 2014 through 2016, winning the title in 2014…Won Mid Penn Championship in 2015, as well as four conference titles in Keystone and Mid Penn Divisions…Team captain as a senior at Palmyra Area High School…Three-time selection to Lebanon Daily News’ All-Lebanon County Team…2016 First Team All-State and Mid Penn First Team All-Star…Max Prep top 100 players for the Class of 2021…Member of the 2016 U-19 National Indoor Developmental Squad…Won four NIT Championships in club field hockey with the PA Mavericks…Selected for National Futures Tournament in 2016…Mid Penn First Team All-Star in 2017 for lacrosse…Lacrosse team captain in 2017…Palmyra all-time leader in goals and points from the attack position…NFHCA All-Academic Squad in 2015 and 2016.

 

Vivienne Tucker

Hometown: Auburn, N.Y.

Position: Midfield

High School: Auburn High School

Originally from the Netherlands…Multi-sport athlete in field hockey and lacrosse, earning two letters in both at Auburn High School…Named All-County and All-State in field hockey, while serving as team captain…Participated in USA Field Hockey’s National Futures Championship in 2016…Second Team All-League and named Most Valuable Defender in lacrosse…Honors student in classroom.


Margot van Hecking Colenbrander

Hometown: Voorburg, Netherlands

Position: Defender

Before UConn: Christelijk Lyceum Zandvliet

Selected for Dutch Indoor Team in 2016 and played games against the national teams for Ukraine and Australia…Participating in the World Cup and European Championship with the national indoor team in 2018…Playing on the National U-18 girls’ team…Became national champion in indoor hockey with her U-16 club team in 2015…In 2016, played in the indoor and outdoor national finals with the U-18 team.

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