DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke field hockey team hosted its annual Alumnae Weekend Apr. 12-13, honoring the 10-year anniversary of the program’s first trip to the national semifinals in 2003 and celebrating the Blue Devils’ historic 2013 season.
On Sunday, the Blue Devils held their annual team banquet where awards were given out to members of the 2013 team that compiled a 17-7 record and made a thrilling run to the national championship contest.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing received the Stef Fee Duke True Award for her outstanding performances on the field and her all-around leadership, work ethic and dedication to the program. The Durham, N.C., product had a breakout season in goal for the Blue Devils this fall, highlighted by her selection to the NFHCA All-America third team. Blazing also shined in the classroom, earning NFHCA Division I Scholar of Distinction honors as well as a spot on the All-ACC Academic Team.
A 2012 graduate, Stefanie Fee was a four-time letterwinner and standout defender for the Blue Devils. She started each of the 81 games during her career, garnering Longstreth/NFHCA All-America, All-South Region first team, All-ACC and All-ACC Tournament accolades. During her senior campaign, Fee anchored a defensive unit which ranked second in the ACC and eighth nationally in goals against average (1.2). Since graduating, she has gone on to excel as a member of the U.S. national team.
Senior Paula Heimbach was selected the Caitlin Williams Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season after helping the Blue Devils’ back line compile a 1.58 goals against average. Heimbach started all 24 games on defense, recording one defensive save, and garnered Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-America first team recognition, as well as NCAA All-Tournament Team, All-South Region first team and All-ACC second team honors.
The Caitlin Williams award is named after the 2008 Duke graduate who played in 50 career games for the Blue Devils, tallying 207 career saves and 1.61 goals against average. With her impressive stat line, Williams ranks third on Duke’s all-time list in goals against average, is tied for sixth in career saves and ranks 12th in career save percentage (.735). A native of Greenland, N.H., Williams garnered second team All-America, first team All-ACC and back-to-back All-South Region honors during her time at Duke.
Junior Abby Beltrani was recognized as the Laura Suchoski Midfielder of the Year after starting all 24 games in the midfield during the fall. The East Setauket, N.Y., native totaled three goals and 10 assists for a career-best 16 points and also garnered All-ACC Academic Team and NFHCA National Academic Squad accolades.
The Laura Suchoski Midfielder of the Year award is named after the four-time All-America selection, who tallied 86 appearances on the field during her time at Duke, registering 16 career goals and 30 career assists. A 2009 graduate, Suchoski was a three-time All-ACC selection and the first Blue Devil in program history to garner All-America honors during her freshman campaign.
Senior Emmie Le Marchand was named the Katie Grant Attack Player of the Year following a season which saw her lead the team in goals (17), assists (14) and points (48). She concluded her career ranked fifth all-time in program history in career points and seventh in goals and earned NFHCA All-America second team, NCAA All-Tournament team, All-South Region first team, ACC All-Tournament Team and All-ACC second team accolades during the course of the year.
The Katie Grant Attack Player of the Year award is named for the 2005 Duke graduate and 2005 ACC Player of the Year, who tallied 83 career goals and 63 career assists for the Blue Devils and guided the team to a 70-23 (.753) overall record during her career. A native of Lehighton, Pa., Grant etched her name into the Duke record books in a number of categories including career points (1st, 223), career goals (2nd, 80), career assists (T-1st, 63) and ranks third on the all-time ACC list for career points.
In addition, the program also honored members of Duke’s 2003 squad, the first in school history to reach the NCAA semifinals. The 2003 Blue Devils compiled a record of 20-4 (2-2 ACC) and played their way into the national title game. Among the 2003 team members in attendance were Kim (Gogola) Craig, Chrissy (Murphy) D’Ambrosio, Katie Grant, Claire (Rauh) McDonough, Kim (Van Kirk) Patel, Amy Stopford and Stacey (Tsougas) Stuart.
The weekend also included a scrimmage against ACC opponent North Carolina at the Tar Heels’ Francis E. Henry Stadium in Chapel Hill Saturday, Apr. 12. The final scrimmage of the spring season proved highly competitive, with North Carolina coming out on top by a 4-3 score.