Juniata Field Hockey Captures First All-America Honors
(Posted December 2, 2004)
Huntingdon, PA - The honors continue to pile up for the Juniata College field hockey team, following the most successful season in the program's history. This time Juniata has had players earn spots on two separate All-America teams. Senior goalkeeper Melonie Sappe' (Dallas/Shavertown) has been named to the 2004 STX/NFHCA Division III All-America team as a second-team selection. Melonie Sappe' (Dallas/Shavertown) also joined senior Billie Rickenbaugh (East Juniata/McAlisterville) on the Women's Field Hockey.com All-America Team. Freshman standout Kim Wagner (Middletown/Middletown) earned Rookie of the Year and was named to the All- Rookie squad for the website's All-America team. The STX/NFHCA team is chosen by members of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, while the Women's Field Hockey.com team is picked by the staff of Women's Field Hockey.com. The honors are the first All-American selections in the history of the Juniata College field hockey program.
Sappe', a senior goalkeeper, was the backbone of the Eagles defense that helped Juniata post a 14-5 record and finish 6-1 in the Commonwealth Conference. 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 allowed just 13 goals, good for a 0.66 goals against average, which led the Commonwealth Conference. Sappe' has earned two All-Conference honors in her career, including first-team recognition this season. She helped the Eagles claim a pair of penalty stroke victories during the regular season and finished the year with 86 saves. She also was named to the 2004 South Atlantic All-Region Field Hockey team as a first team bid with her fellow teammates.
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 closes her career in fifth place in Juniata history in career points with 67, 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. Rickenbaugh knocked in at least two goals in each of her four seasons. After posting four points as a freshman she averaged 21 points per season in her final three years. She dished out an average of 8.3 assists per season in her last three years, including a career-high of 11 as a junior. She was also recently named to the 2004 South Atlantic All-Region Field Hockey Team earning herself first-team honors.
Wagner, a freshman forward, broke into her college career leading the Eagles in goals and points with 16 and 33 respectively. She earned second team All-Conference as well as conference rookie of the year honors this year for the Commonwealth Conference. She tied the Juniata program record for goals in a single season with 16. Wagner finished the season ranking sixth and fifth for points and goals respectively in the Commonwealth conference. She led the conference in game-winning goals with eight on the season and helped lead Juniata to their first NCAA playoff appearance.
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