Mitchell and de Ruijter Earn BIG EAST Honors

09 Dec 2021 | 11:26 | Field Hockey

NEW YORK – The BIG EAST has announced its individual awards and all-conference teams in field hockey. Liberty forward Daniella Rhodes has been named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. Georgetown goalkeeper Ciara Weets has been selected BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. Connecticut forward Sophia Ugo has been tabbed BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. The balloting was done by the league’s head coaches who were not permitted to select their own players.

The Liberty coaching staff, led by head coach Nikki Parsley-Blocker, was named BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year.

The announcement comes prior to the BIG EAST Championship Presented by JEEP which will be held November 5 & 7 at the Sherman Family Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Ct. The host Huskies have captured the last nine championship titles.

Liberty, the BIG EAST regular-season champion, placed four players on the All-BIG EAST First Team and two on the All-BIG EAST Second Team to lead all conference squads with six selections. UConn and Old Dominion, which tied for second place, had five and four players, respectively, on the two teams.

Rhodes, a junior, earned All-BIG EAST First Team honors for a second straight season. She led the league in scoring this fall with 15 goals and seven assists for 37 points. Rhodes helped lead Liberty to a 15-2 overall record and a 7-0 BIG EAST mark.

Weets, a senior, ranked first in the BIG EAST in saves with 111 and averaged 6.17 saves per game. Her .804 save percentage also led the league. Weets posted four shutouts and helped the Hoyas post a 10-8 overall record and a 3-4 BIG EAST mark.

Ugo has been a force for UConn in her first season, scoring eight goals in 20 games and adding two assists for 18 points, which ranks second on the team in scoring. She led the Huskies with team highs in shots (43) and shots on goal (29).

The Liberty coaching staff earned Staff of the Year honors for a second straight season. This fall, head coach Nikki Parsley-Blocker and her assistants guided the Lady Flames to their first BIG EAST regular-season crown. They enter this week’s BIG EAST Championship with a No. 8 national ranking.

Three Liberty players were unanimous selections on the All-BIG EAST First Team, forwards Rhodes and Jill Bolton along with junior back Bethany Dykema. Bolton, who is playing as a fifth-year senior, has earned first-team accolades in all five seasons. The other Liberty first team selection was sophomore goalkeeper Azul Iritxity Irigoyen, who was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and shared BIG EAST Freshman of the Year honors this past season.

BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year

Daniella Rhodes, Liberty

BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year

Ciara Weets, Georgetown

BIG EAST Freshman of the Year

Sophia Ugo, Connecticut

BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year


All-BIG EAST First Team

Ciara Weets, Georgetown, Sr., GK

*Bethany Dykema, Liberty, Jr., B

Delphine Le Jeune, Old Dominion, So., B

Julianne Kopec, Temple, Fr., M

Abby Gooderham, Connecticut, Sr., M

*Daniella Rhodes, Liberty, Jr., F

*Jill Bolton, Liberty, Sr., F

Marlon De Bruijne, Old Dominion, So., F

Sophia Ugo, Connecticut, Fr., F

Meghan Mitchell, Villanova, So., F

Azul Iritxity Irigoyen, Liberty, So., GK


All-BIG EAST Second Team

Cheyenne Sprecher, Connecticut, Sr., GK

Sabine de Ruijter, Villanova, So., B

Nienke Oerlemans, Temple, Sr., B

Lizzie Hamlett, Liberty, Sr., M

Rina Tsioles, Old Dominion, So., M

Jess Dembrowski, Connecticut, Gr., F

Emilia Massarelli, Quinnipiac, Fr., F

Amanda Collins, Providence, Jr., B

Jodie Conolly, Liberty, Jr., B

Claire Jandewerth, Connecticut, Jr., B

Alix Marien, Old Dominion, Fr., M

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