DURHAM, N.C. – Five members of the Duke field hockey squad earned spots on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s All-South Region first and second teams, as announced by the organization Tuesday.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing, senior defender Paula Heimbach and senior forward Emmie Le Marchand were selected to the first team while sophomore midfielder Aileen Johnson and sophomore defender Amanda Kim received second team distinction.
A product of Durham, N.C., Blazing has enjoyed a breakout season in goal for the Blue Devils en route to earning the first all-region accolades of her career. She ranks fifth nationally and first in the ACC in save percentage with a .792 clip and is second in the league in saves per game (5.73). Blazing posted a career-high 22 saves in a 3-2 overtime shootout victory over previously unbeaten and top-ranked North Carolina Sept. 27 and collected All-ACC and ACC All-Tournament team honors earlier this fall.
Heimbach, who hails from Palm, Pa., was tabbed to the All-South Region first team for the second consecutive year. She has guided the Blue Devil defense to four shutouts and a 1.44 goals against average and has helped the unit limit 14 of its 22 opponents to one goal or fewer. One of the squad’s most dependable backs over the past four seasons, Heimbach has tallied two assists and one defensive save this fall and was selected to compete in the NFHCA Division I Senior Game in addition to earning All-ACC honors.
Le Marchand, a native of Worcester, England, garnered the fourth all-region nod of her career while making her third straight appearance on the first team. She paces the Duke offense this season with 45 points on 16 goals and 13 assists to match her career-best scoring output and ranks third in the ACC in points per game (2.05). The dynamic forward was named to the All-ACC team and the ACC All-Tournament team and is slated to join Heimbach at the 2013 NFHCA Division I Senior Game.
A two-year starter in the midfield, Johnson picked up the first all-region accolades of her career. The Oceanport, N.J., product is tied for fifth on the team in goals (4) and tied for sixth in points (11) and leads the team with a .818 shots on goal percentage. She also received all-conference recognition for the first time in her career this season.
Kim joins Johnson in making her first appearance on the All-South Region teams after anchoring the back line from the center back position. She scored her first career goal to propel the Blue Devils to a 2-0 victory over Stanford during the regular season and recorded a defensive save in an ACC quarterfinal win over Virginia Nov. 7. A native of Richmond, Va., Kim has been a key component of the team’s defensive penalty corners this fall.
Fifth-ranked and fourth-seeded Duke (16-6, 3-3 ACC) heads to the NCAA semifinals following a 4-1 victory over No. 10 Massachusetts Nov. 17 in Durham. The program will make its fifth appearance in the semifinals and first since 2006 Friday, Nov. 22 when it faces top-ranked Maryland at 2 p.m. at Old Dominion’s L.R. Hill Sports Complex in Norfolk, Va. The contest will be streamed live on www.NCAA.com.