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UConn Racks Up Big East Conference Awards

Roisin Upton earned her second-straight Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Nov. 4, 2015

NEW YORK – Senior tri-captain Roisin Upton (Limerick, Ireland) was named the 2015 Big East Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season while sophomore standout Charlotte Veitner (Dusseldorf, Germany) was tabbed as the Offensive Player of the Year and freshman Amelia Iacobucci (Malvern, Pa.) earned recognition as the league’s Co-Freshman of the Year, as announced by the conference on Wednesday afternoon. In addition, six Husky players were selected to All-Big East teams and the UConn coaching staff was honored as the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year.

Upton and Veitner were joined by redshirt-sophomore Nina Klein (Topton, Pa.) and junior Anna Middendorf (Bremen, Germany) on the All-Big East First Team. Graduate student Pippa Lewis (Malvern, England), junior Olivia Bolles (Phoenixville, Pa.) along with sophomores Casey Umstead (Sellersville, Pa.) and Karlie Heistand (Hamburg, Pa.) were placed on the All-Conference Second Team.

Overall, the Huskies have had 84 All-Big East First Team selections in program history.

Upton, who was chosen as the conference’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year in August, anchored the UConn back line which recorded a nation-leading 13 shutouts, blanking all five BIG EAST foes. The Limerick, Ireland native helped UConn capture the 2015 regular season crown with a 18-0 overall record and spotless 5-0 mark in league play. Although she was temporarily sidelined due to an injury early in the season, she bounced back to tally 38 points on 14 goals and 10 assists in 14 appearances. Upton currently stands fifth nationally in points per game (2.71), goals/game (1.00) and ninth in assists/game (0.71). She totaled eight points on her first career hat trick along with two assists in a shutout win over Villanova on Oct. 3 and was tabbed as the league’s Defensive Player of the Week three times. Last week, Upton received an invitation to compete in the 2015 NFHCA Division I Senior Game on Saturday, Nov. 21.



After having a standout rookie season, Veitner has upped the ante during her sophomore campaign with a team-best 34 goals and 18 assists, totaling 86 points. She has started in all 18 games for the Huskies and was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week eight times this season. Veitner has scored three or more goals in seven outings, including earning her 100th-career point against Yale on Oct. 4 to become the 18th Husky all-time to reach the milestone. She boasts a team-high nine game-winners, including against then-ranked #10 Boston College (Sept. 13) and #9 Stanford (Sept. 25). As of Nov. 1, she leads the nation with 4.78 points/game and 1.89 goals/game. She also ranks third in assists/game (1.00).

Iacobucci was the top goal-scoring freshman in the conference this year, adding 10 goals and two assists for 22 points. She tallied her first career hat trick against Columbia (Sept. 6) and scored the game-winner in UConn’s 1-0 win over then-ranked #11 Old Dominion (Oct. 17). The Malvern, Pa. native earned her first-ever Big East honor on Oct. 19 when she was named Rookie of the Week.

Klein claimed a spot on the First Team after earning the starting nod in the cage in each game this season. She has a remarkable 0.28 goals against average and .884 save percentage, with both marks taking the top spot in the national rankings. The net-minder has nine shutouts this season and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 19.

Middendorf rounds out the First Team for the second consecutive year after continuing to be one the foremost threats on penalty corner attempts. She found the back of the net on 10 different occasions along with dishing six assists. The junior defender had a season-best five points on two goals and one assist against Temple (Oct. 9).

Lewis had a knack for lending a helping hand, giving out 12 assists, which checks in at No. 2 on the team. She notched her first goal as a Husky in the 9-1 victory over Columbia (Sept. 6) and tallied her first collegiate point with an assist versus Northeastern (Aug. 29).

Bolles has continued to be a dangerous threat in the midfield with her impressive speed. She recorded nine points on two goals and five assists. Each of her goals came against shutout wins over Big East rivals Villanova (Oct. 3) and Temple (Oct. 9).

Umstead earned starts in every game for the Huskies while tallying career-highs in each offensive category. She currently has 34 points thanks to 14 goals and six assists. Her season was highlighted by hat tricks against Quinnipiac (Sept. 4) and then-ranked #17 Boston University (Oct. 18).

Heistand saw action in all 18 games as a starter due to her high powered defensive attack. She recorded her first career goal in UConn’s 10-0 defeat of Villanova on Oct. 3 and added two helpers this season.

The Connecticut coaching staff, which includes head coach Nancy Stevens, associate head coach Paul Caddy and assistant coach Cheri Herr has won regular season titles three times in a row and has grabbed the last four Big East Tournament crowns, dating back to 2012. The Huskies have been victorious in 26 of its last 28 league games. Stevens’ squad has won Coaching Staff of the Year honors nine times.

Next up for the Huskies is a date in the 2015 Big East Championship this weekend when it travels to Norfolk, Va. to battle Old Dominion in a tournament semifinal match-up set for Friday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. Fans can watch the game live via the Big East Digital Network.


Big East Offensive Player of the Year

Charlotte Veitner, Connecticut, So., F*


Big East Defensive Player of the Year

Roisin Upton, Connecticut, Sr., M*


Big East Freshman of the Year

Chrissy Horn, Old Dominion, Fr., M

Amelia Iacobucci, Connecticut, Fr., F/M


Big East Coaching Staff of the Year



All-Big East First Team

Nina Klein, Connecticut, R-So., GK

Catalina Barahona, Old Dominion, Jr., B

Anna Middendorf, Connecticut, Jr., B

Sarah Breen, Old Dominion, Sr., M*

Sarah Deck, Temple, Sr., M/B

Alyssa Delp, Temple, Sr., M*

Adrienne Houle, Providence, Jr., M

Roisin Upton, Connecticut, Sr., M*

Francesca Bello, Villanova, So., F

Aliyah Graves-Brown, Georgetown, Jr., F

Charlotte Veitner, Connecticut, So., F*


All-Big East Second Team^

Haley Mitchell, Temple, Sr., GK

Olivia Bolles, Connecticut, Jr., B

Megan Byas, Old Dominion, Jr., B

Karlie Heistand, Connecticut, So., M/B

Chrissy Horn, Old Dominion, Fr., M

Alex Iqbal, Old Dominion, GS, M

Kayla Kenney, Villanova, Sr., M

Pippa Lewis, Connecticut, GS, M

Emma Lucas, Providence, Fr., M

Emma Mackie, Providence, Sr., M

Kristen Mericle, Villanova, Jr., M

Casey Umstead, Connecticut, So., F/M

Megan Hamilton, Providence, So., F

Tricia Light, Temple, Sr., F

^extra members were added due to a tie in voting

*unanimous selection