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Field Hockey Places Four Players on All-Region Team

(Posted November 23, 2004)

Forward Billie Rickenbaugh was one of four Juniata athletes to earn her first All-Region honors.

Huntingdon, PA - Following one of the most successful seasons in school history, the Juniata College field hockey team has been rewarded with four spots on the 2004 South Atlantic All-Region Field Hockey Team. Juniata seniors Billie Rickenbaugh (East Juniata/McAlisterville) and Melonie Sappe' (Dallas/Shavertown) earned first-team honors, while two other seniors, Grace McCluskey West Perry/Elliottsburg) and Janine Hartman (Whitehall/Whitehall) earned second team recognition. This is the first time for all to be recognized as All-Region players.

Rickenbaugh has captured two first team All-Conference laurels for her career and has a total of three All-Conference honors overall. She led the Eagles in assists this year with eight, which ranks as the fifth-highest single-season total in school history. She sits in fifth place currently in all-time career points with 67 for her career and ranks second in career assists with 25. Her 14 points this season are second on the Eagle team as she posted three goals and eight assists on the season.

Sappe', a senior goalkeeper, was the backbone of the Eagles defense. A four-year starter, this season she posted six shutouts in regular-season action bringing her career total to 20. Three of her six shutouts came against conference opponents earning her an unprecedented four Commonwealth goalkeeper/defensive player of the week awards over the course of the year. In 1382 minutes of play she has only allowed thirteen goals and sported a 0.66 goals against average, which led the Commonwealth Conference. Sappe' has earned two All-Conference honors in her career.

McCluskey, a senior forward, has earned two first-team All-Conference recognitions in her career at Juniata. She had four goals and one assist on the season, which gives her 55 points in her career ranking her ninth in Juniata history for points. Her total of nine points tied her for fourth on the Eagle team, and she was also tied for third on the team with four goals. Two of her goals this season came in the conference game against Albright, which led the team to a victory.

Hartman, a senior defender helped to anchor the Juniata defense which allowed only 14 goals in 19 games this season. She moved back to play a new role as the team's primary defender in her senior season, and captured her first All-Conference honor. She led the Eagles with two defensive saves on the year and helped Juniata finish the season as the leaders in the conference in fewest goals allowed. The Eagles outscored their opponents 36-14 over the course of the year, and the defense limited Juniata opposition to fewer than 10 shots per game.

Juniata finished the season with a 14-5 overall record, while boasting a 6-1 conference mark and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the history of the program. The Eagles also earned back-to-back berths in the conference postseason for the first time since the 1976 and 1977 seasons.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.