RICHMOND, Va. – For the VCU field hockey program, hard work doesn't stop on Cary Street Field. The Rams are the true definition of student-athletes.

Their hard work in the classroom was recognized by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association with the Black & Gold being recognized with the SGI/NFHCA Collegiate National Academic Team Award. In addition, 12 Rams earned a spot on the SGI/NFHCA Collegiate National Academic squad.

"Our student-athletes work very hard in the classroom and take great pride in excelling academically," Head Coach Shannon Karl said. "These honors are a testament to their hard work and contributions to not only the VCU field hockey program and athletic department, but to the university as a whole."

This is the fourth straight year that the Rams have been honored with both the team award and individual accolades. The team award recognizes a team with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, while student-athletes who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher earn a spot on the academic squad.

The twelve Rams who earned individual accolades include junior Megan Botteri, freshman Nicola Breeman, junior Autumn Dea, sophomore Stephanie DeMasi, freshman Stacey Farr, junior Arialle Hess, junior Melanie Marotta, junior Haley McBee, sophomore Meredith McNelis, sophomore Kelsey O'Brien, sophomore Kelsey Powell and sophomore Emilie Soares.

VCU is in the middle of their spring training season and lose just two players off of last year's fall roster. Karl's debut season as head coach is set to being in late August.