HAMDEN, Connecticut – Quinnipiac University field hockey head coach Becca Main and her coaching staff announced this season's team awards, as voted on by Quinnipiac's student-athletes and staff, at the annual awards banquet hosted on the Main Carmel Campus on Friday, April 17.
Quinnipiac senior tri-captain Megan Conaboy (Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania) was named the Tara Thibeault Most Valuable Player while fellow tri-captains Danielle Allan (Riverdale, New Jersey) and Megan Osanitsch (Harwinton, Connecticut) was honored with the Best Offensive Player Award and the Jill DiSanti Best Defensive Player Award, respectively. Sophomore Lily Shemo (Luzerne, Pennsylvania) was named the Nina Walker Most Improved Player, junior Haley Swartz (Downingtown, Pennsylvania) won the ZAG Team Player Award and junior Meghan McCullough (Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania) took home the 1st annual Best Midfielder Player Award.
Conaboy's honor with the MVP award marks the seventh straight season in which the highest individual honor goes to a player on the defensive side of the ball. Conaboy joins a long list of MVP honorees that includes defenders Amanda Danziger (2013), Kim Cunniff (2010-11), and Megan Sciascia (2008) as well as goalkeepers Nicole Lewis (2012) and Jenna Grossman (2009). The last midfielder or attack to win the Bobcats' MVP award came back in 2007 when Annie Mangano took home the individual honor.
Conaboy is coming off another incredible season in which she earned her second straight MAAC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year honors. The two-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Week honoree and NFHCA All-Mideast Region First Team selection played every minute of every game in the cage for the Bobcats in 2014. Conaboy compiled an overall record of 8-11, 2.22 GAA, 128 saves (6th in NCAA Div. I), .744 save percentage (1st MAAC; 20th NCAA) and three shutouts. The signature moment in Conaboy's 2014 season came back on Sept. 7, 2014 as her 22-save performance against Penn State are the most saves tallied in a single-game among all NCAA Div. I goalkeepers last season. In her three years as a starter at Quinnipiac, Conaboy ranks 4th all-time at Quinnipiac in GAA (2.09) and wins (23) as well as tied for 3rd in shutouts (10).
Allan picked up the Best Offensive Player Award after closing out her sensational career with another highly productive offensive season, leading the Bobcat in all major offensive categories. Named to the All-Conference team for the third season and the NFHCA All-Mideast Region Second Team, Allan racked up team highs in points (20), goals (eight), assists (four) and shots-on-goal (33). For her career, Allan graduates ranking in the Top 5 for every major offensive statistical category in Quinnipiac field hockey history. Allan ranks 4th at Quinnipiac in goals (29), tied for 5th in assists (18) and 3rd in points (76). Shifting from her natural forward position into the midfield halfway through the season, Allan's versatility and leadership helped carry the Bobcats into the MAAC Tournament for the 18th time in 20 seasons of Quinnipiac field hockey.
Having to replace two stalwart defenders in 2014 graduates and the last two Best Defensive Player Award winners in Amanda Danziger and Cate Colucci, Osanitsch took the reins of the Bobcat defense and excelled as the team's center back all season. Osanitsch was the only field player for the Bobcats to have logged all 1390 possible minutes of playing time this season. She also captained a back line that was crowned the NCAA Div. I statistical champion for defensive saves with 13 in 19 games last season. A stellar defensive player, Osanitsch tallied one defensive save in 2014 while also contributing offensively with two assists on her way to making the All-MAAC First Team.
The Nina Walker Most Improved Player Award, who is given to the player that made the most progress on the field, was given to sophomore defender Shemo. A redshirted player in her freshman year, Shemo came on strong in 2014 with appearances in all 19 games (11 starts). After not appearing in a game in 2013, Shemo broke through with 957 minutes of action while compiling one goal and one defensive save throughout the season.
The ZAG Team Player Award, given to Swartz, is handed to the student-athlete who exemplifies the most creativity on the field and one that gives back to the community, friends, family and teammates. Another breakout star along the back line in the 2014 campaign was Swartz who played 1359 out of a possible 1390 minutes in her junior season. The steady defender has improved in each of her three seasons with the team, breaking out in 2014 with one goal and three defensive saves in 19 games played (all starts). Swartz's three defensive saves placed her 6th in the MAAC and 28th in NCAA Div. I as her reliability and on-field presence helped guide the Bobcats to the NCAA Div. I statistical championship for defensive saves. Having appeared in 57 out of 59 possible games in her career, durability is another one of Swartz's strong calling cards.
The last of the individual awards went to McCullough who was the recipient of the first annual Best Midfielder Player Award. An anchor on the defensive end, as well as a key cornerstone in the team's penalty corner offensive attack, McCullough started all 19 games in the 2014. Her statistical numbers all experienced a huge hike last season as she registered new single-season career-highs in games played (19), goals (three), points (seven), shots (17) and shots on goal (10) while also picking up her first career game-winning goal, defensive save and penalty stroke goal. McCullough racked up 1208 minutes of action, third-most among the Bobcats' non-defensive players, and finished with the fourth-most points on the team.
2014 Quinnipiac Field Hockey Season In Review
- Overall Record: 8-11
- MAAC Record: 3-2
- Advanced to the MAAC Tournament for the second straight season
- Advanced to the conference postseason tournament for the 18th time in 20 seasons
- Danielle Allan was the lone senior class member and graduated with in the Top 5 in Quinnipiac field hockey history in goals, assists and points
- Crowned the NCAA Div. I Statistical Champion for Defensive Saves in the 2014 season with 13
- In all, seven different Bobcats picked up at least one defensive save, a total that tied with Missouri State for the most among all teams in the nation
- Six Bobcats (Allan, Osanitsch, Conaboy, Savanna Reilly, Lea Dietrichs and Angie King) named All-MAAC
- Conaboy crowned Co-MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight season
- Conaboy (First Team) and Allan (Second Team) became the 19th and 20th Bobcats in program history named NFHCA All-Mideast Region
- Quinnipiac defeated Villanova, 4-2, for the first victory over a BIG EAST foe (0-13 previous record) in program history
- The Bobcats defeated Bryant, 3-2, in the first shoot-out in program history. Quinnipiac withstood the Bulldogs through two 15-minute overtime periods and then won the five round shoot-out, 3-1, as Osanitsch finished off the victory with the game-winner in the fifth round
- McCullough's first tally at 1:13 in the first half against Holly Cross was the fastest goal scored for Quinnipiac in a road game in the program's Div. I history (since 1998)
- Of the seven Bobcat freshmen to see the field last season, six of them registered points with Gemma Cirera (three goals) leading the way with six points
- Conaboy's 22 saves at home against Penn State were not only a career-high but the single-games save total ranks as the most saves for any goalkeeper in the NCAA Div. I in a single-game this season