NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Even before the Atlantic 10 Tournament started, the VCU Field Hockey team found out they will be heading back to Richmond with plenty of extra hardware after the all-conference awards were announced on Thursday.
Six different Rams earned all-conference recognition, led by senior Emilie Soares (pictured, top right), who was named to the All-Atlantic 10 First Team. Classmate Stephanie DeMasi and junior Kendell Combs earned spots on the Second Team, while freshman Alexis Schramm (pictured, left)was named to the All-Rookie squad.
Rounding out the accolades was Soares, DeMasi, senior Megan Botteri (pictured, bottom right) and junior Nicole Barry earning spots on the All-Academic team.
Soares is enjoying one of the best offensive seasons in VCU field hockey history with a team-leading 14 goals and eight assists, both of which rank in the top-10 in the conference. Those totals also rank in the top-10 in single-season VCU history. In the classroom, Soares has posted a 3.64 cumulative grade-point-average in Mechanical Engineering.
DeMasi has been a stalwart on VCU's backline for four years, but has also made an impact on the offensive end, breaking the school record for career assists (currently at 28) mark earlier this fall. This year, she's posted career highs in goals (4) and assists (8). In the classroom, she has a near-perfect 3,97 cumulative GPA in Health, Physical Education & Exercise Science.
Combs was a critical piece of the Rams offense with a team-leading 11 assists and three game-winning goals. Her 11 assists rank as the third-most in the Atlantic 10. On the year, she's tallied six goals for a total of 23 points, which rank second on the squad.
Schramm has been a powerful force in her debut season with the Rams with eight goals and 18 points. Her eight goals rank second on the team and the most by a freshman since Kelsey Scherrer racked up 11 during the 2009 campaign.
Botteri has been a steady force in the cage since her arrival at VCU in 2009. This year, she's played in 17 games for the Rams, racking up 124 saves and a 2.34 GAA, both of which rank third in the Atlantic 10. In the classroom, she boasts a 3.76 cumulative GPA in History. Barry was a vital part of the Black & Gold's backline, in addition to her offensive position as stopper on corners, where she racked up seven assists this fall. In the classroom, Barry has compiled a 3.85 cumulative GPA in Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness.