(Posted November 3, 2004)

Huntingdon, PA - Following one of the most successful regular-seasons in school history, the Juniata College field hockey team has been rewarded with six spots on the 2004 Commonwealth All-Conference Field Hockey Team. Juniata placed four players on the first team as Grace McCluskey West Perry/Elliottsburg), Billie Rickenbaugh (East Juniata/McAlisterville), Janine Hartman (Whitehall/Whitehall) and Melonie Sappe' (Dallas/Shavertown) all captured first-team honors. Juniata added two second-team honorees as Elise Zimmerman (Cumberland Valley/Boiling Springs) and Kim Wagner (Middletown/Middletown) were named to the squad. In addition, Wagner was tabbed as the Commonwealth Rookie of the Year and Juniata Head Coach Caroline Gillich was selected as the Commonwealth Coach of the Year.

McCluskey, a senior forward, earns first-team All-Conference recognition for the second time in her career. She had three goals and one assist on the season, which gives her 53 points in her career ranking her ninth in Juniata history for points. Her point total of seven ranked fifth on the Eagle team, and she was tied for third on the team with her three goals. Two of her goals this season came in the conference game against Albright, which led the team to a victory.

Rickenbaugh captured first-team All-Conference laurels for the second time in her career and picks up her third All-Conference honor 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 1209 minutes of play she has only allowed ten goals and sports a 0.58 goals against average, which led the Commonwealth Conference. This is the second-time Sappe' has earned an All-Conference honor; she captured second-team honors following her sophomore season.

Hartman, a senior defender helped to anchor the Juniata defense which allowed only 11 goals in 17 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. Juniata tied for the conference lead in goals allowed, as the team's 11 goals surrendered exactly half as many as the team allowed in 2003.

Zimmerman also earns her first All-Conference recognition this season in her junior year. She has four goals and four assists on the season, which gives her with four goals and nine assists for her career. Both her goal and assist totals from this season are career highs, and she ranked second on the Juniata team in goals and third in assists. Eleven of her 12 points came in the final month of the season when she moved into a more attacking position.

Wagner burst onto the scene in her first season, earning second-team All-Conference and Conference Rookie of the Year honors. The freshman poured in 15 goals this season, which puts her just one shy of tying the Juniata single season for goals. Wagner was the points and goals leader for the Eagles this season with 31 points and 15 goals respectively. She ranked sixth in the conference in both goals and points per game, and showed a knack for scoring clutch goals as she finished the year with eight game-winning tallies.

Juniata finished the regular season with a 14-3overall record, while boasting a 6-1 conference mark. The Eagles will host Lebanon Valley in the Commonwealth Conference semifinals on Wednesday in Huntingdon.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.