The Rensselaer field hockey team, with its team grade point average of 3.26, has been recognized as one of the top academic teams in Division III by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). In addition to the team award, 13 student-athletes were named to the National Academic Squad, with three—Mikaela DiBello, Christina Hanos, and Lauren Hiltz—named to the Scholars of Distinction list.
One of 124 schools to be recognized with a Zag Field Hockey/NFCHA Team Award, Rensselaer has consistently been one of the top teams over the last 12 seasons, including being named the nation’s top academic squad in both 2004 and 2005. The Engineers ranked second in 2008 and have been among the top-10 three other times. The National Academic Team Award recognizes those institutions that achieved a minimum team GPA of 3.0 during the first semester of the academic year.
The Scholars of Distinction recognizes student-athletes who achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher through the first semester of the academic year.
DiBello, a sophomore, is a chemistry major with a 3.97 GPA; Hanos is a freshman with a 4.0 as a biology (accelerated Albany Medical program) majors and Hiltz is a sophomore business and management major with a 4.0 grade point average.
This is the second consecutive season DiBello has been honored. On the field, she started all 17 games, leading the team in goals (10), assists (6), and points (26). She was the Liberty League Offensive Performer of the Week once, chosen to the All-Liberty League First Teams and selected as a Liberty League All-Academic honoree. Hanos also played all 17 games, scoring once, while Hiltz, a transfer from the University of Vermont, had three defensive saves in 17 contests.
The 10 others from Rensselaer who were named to the Academic Squad include junior Kate Batzinger, sophomore Kayla Bell, senior Claire Cecilio, junior Nicole Clancy, sophomore Casey Collette, sophomore Jena Dolinar, junior Jane Edgington, junior Megan Jones, senior Colleen Morris—a four-year honoree—and junior Mac Reininger. All are engineering majors with the exception of Bell, who studies biochemistry and biophysics, Jones, who majors in mathematics, and Reininger, a design, innovation, and society major.
Fourteen of Rensselaer’s 23 members had at least a 3.0 GPA in the fall, including nine who earned at least a 3.50 GPA. Four student-athletes earned all As.
Rensselaer, which was 10-7 in 2016, is led by 16th-year head coach Bridget LaNoir ’99.