Three months after securing the ECAC championship, 12 members of the field hockey team were named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I National Academic Squad.

“This certainly confirms our players’ ability to perform as Division I athletes while obtaining a world renowned education,” head coach Ainslee Lamb said.

Yale boasts more student athletes on the field hockey squad than any of its Ivy League opponents. Harvard, Cornell and Columbia combined have only 11.

“I am a competitor,” Lamb said. “It’s always a good feeling to look up on the scoreboard and see that you have more than Princeton or Harvard.”

Nominations were sent out by the coaching staff in February. To earn the distinction, a student had to be on the active roster and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 through the first semester of the 2002-03 academic year.

“Our team takes our academic responsibilities very seriously, and our representation on the NFHCA Academic Squad goes to show just that,” 2003 captain Francesca Gardner ’04 said. “It’s easy to treat classwork as a priority when your entire team shares that same mindset.”

Named to the squad were Brigid Boland ’03, Wendy Ketner ’03, Maureen Braun ’04, Stephanie Dolmat-Connell ’04, Fran Gardner ’04, Jana Halfon ’04, Sarah Driscoll ’05, Chrissy Hall ’05, Leslie Cacciapaglia ’06, Bridget Henn ’06, Katie Rivkin ’06 and Hiroma Yoshida ’06.

“Obviously, it’s a great challenge to train and compete at your highest level while balancing a heavy academic schedule, but that’s a challenge the team has found a successful way to overcome,” Gardner said.

The postseason following the field hockey team’s storybook finish to the 2002 schedule has been highlighted with several notable achievements. Goalie Krissy Nesburg ’04 and midfielder Driscoll were both named to the NFCHA Div. I Regional All-American second Team. Former player Amanda Walton was honored with the NCAA Inspirational Award, and Nesburg earned a spot on the United States Field Hockey U-23 National Team.

— Smita Gopisetty