CHANDLER, Ariz. (3/16/16) – The Kean University field hockey program earned a National Academic Team Award from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, sophomore Kayla Molnar and freshman Emily Van Pelt were named Scholars of Distinction, and 14 other Cougars were named to the National Academic Squad as Kean racked up the NFHCA postseason academic accolades.
Molnar and Van Pelt earned a spot among the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III Scholars of Distinction by achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or greater through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year. Each representative was also placed on the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad on Thursday, with that list requiring a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 or greater.
The other Cougars named to the National Academic Squad were: Teresa Carr, Jordan Colna, Rebecca Ecklyn, Stephanie Hunt, Krista LaMaina, Shauna LaMaina, Katie-Lynne Lussier, Rachel Mills, Bailee Mullen, Jenna Patrone, Courtney Richard, Erin Smith, Megan Thompson and Danielle Whiston.
The Kean University field hockey program posted arguably its best season in history in 2016 with a school-best 18-4 record. The team was ranked as high as No. 16 nationally.
Eighth-year head coach Leslie LaFronz was named the NJAC Coach of the Year and the team set another program record by winning 14-straight games at the start of the season. Each of Kean's losses came against teams ranked in the Top-20, and the Cougars earned a win over No. 15 Rowan University.
The team led the country in penalty corners, taking over 13 per game. The Cougars' .818 winning percentage was the best record in the NJAC and the 11th-best in the country.
Kean was ranked second or third in the NJAC in the nearly every stat category: assists (45), defensive saves (8), goals-against average (1.21), goals (61), points (167), scoring average (2.73), scoring margin (+34) and shutouts (8). Kean outscored its opponents 61-27.