PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's head coach of field hockey, Colleen Fink, and her staff have announced the addition of six incoming recruits that will join the team for the upcoming 2012 season.
"On the heels of a successful spring season where the team found a new sense of intensity, a higher skill level, and clearly defined goals, our staff is extremely positive about the direction of Penn field hockey. The returning players, partnered with the Class of 2016, will only continue the team's improvement and future success," said Fink, who will be entering her third season at Penn this upcoming fall.
The Class of 2016 has strong regional ties with one player from the state of Pennsylvania, Emily Guthier, while three more from the state of New Jersey - Alex Agathis, Lauren Hunter and Megan Johnston. The incoming class also includes a player from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Hitti, and North Carolina, Neela Mahanty. Each position group is represented within the six-member class.
"We feel this is a balanced class representing strength in the defensive end with Lauren Hunter and Emily Guthier, a savvy midfield with Mahanty, Johnston and Agathis, and a needed scoring threat in Hitti," said Fink. "We feel this class will mesh well with one another and the returning players as they already share the common goals and outlook for Penn field hockey."
The Class of 2016 will join 11 returning letterwinners from last season's team. Included in that group are six freshmen from 2011 that lettered in their first season at Penn. This past season, field hockey increased its overall and Ivy League win totals from the previous year. In their final spring tournament before the summer break, the Quakers avenged a fall loss to Lehigh with a 4-0 win and also tied Lafayette and Rider in rematches from the fall.
Bedminster, N.J./Kent Place
High School: Lettered four times in field hockey, captain of the team in both her junior and senior seasons ... Helped the Spirit Eagles field hockey club win gold medal at U19 National Indoor Tournament ... Also played on U16 Team Trenton squad that won the National Futures Championship ... Selected to play in New Jersey Senior All-Star game ... Two-time first-team NJFHCA All-Conference and Group I selection ... Twice selected to Star Ledger second-team All-Group I (2010-11) and was named first-team All-County in 2011 ... Named high school's MVP in 2010 and led the team in goals and points as a senior ... Student Body President ... National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, and National Math Honor Society member ... AP Scholar.
Personal: Daughter of Allyson and Bill Agathis ... Has four brothers and sisters ... Sister, Sophia, was an All-Centennial Conference player and two-time captain of Swarthmore field hockey team ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fink on Alex: "Alex comes to Penn with strong fundamentals and an uncanny ability to limit mistakes and unforced turnovers in the field of play. She is a consistent decision maker who values possession above all things. She will be a great addition for our vision for Penn field hockey."
Jamison, Pa./Central Bucks East
High School: Lettered twice in field hockey ... 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer first-team Southeastern PA Player of the Year ... Gold medalist at the 2010 USA Field Hockey Festival ... Named high school's defensive MVP ... 2011 second-team All-Intell ... Led her team to back-to-back PIAA District I appearances (2010-11), helping team finish third in the district as a junior and advance to state tournament ... Helped her team to a third-place finish in Continental Conference in 2010 ... National Honor Society and National French Honor Society member ... Student Council Representative ... Earned Distinguished/Highest Academic Honors.
Personal: Daughter of Sharon and Frank Guthier ... Has played the piano for more than 13 years ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fink on Emily: "We feel very lucky to have Emily join the Penn Quakers. Emily is hard working, coachable and has excellent footwork. Through her hard work with her club training and high school program she strives toward her potential which was rewarded when she was named Southeastern PA Player of the Year during her senior season. She has only yet scratched the surface of her ability."
Ashland, Mass./The Rivers School
High School: Lettered four times in field hockey and ice hockey, captain of both teams ... Named to the 2011 NFHCA All-Region team ... Member of the United States Field Hockey Futures Elite team ... Selected to the 2010 AAU Junior Olympics All-Tournament team ... Led her team to the NEPSAC Class C championship, earning MVP honors for the tournament ... Three-time All-ISL performer, earning All-League honors twice (2010-11) to go along with a honorable mention in 2009 ... Named to the Highest Honor Roll in each of her four years ... Four-year Scholar Athlete.
Personal: Daughter of Annemarie and Nabil Hitti ... Picked up the sport of field hockey when she lived in England ... Mother was on the crew team at Union College ... Has a younger brother, Nicholas ... Will enroll in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
Coach Fink on Elizabeth: "Elizabeth joins the Penn field hockey squad with a strong ice hockey background. This provides her with tremendous speed, physicality and great hands. She has been exposed to very high level hockey through her experience in the U.S. field hockey pipeline. She will bring a competitive spirit, leadership and a sense of accountability to the team. We are looking forward to developing her as a top scorer in the Ivy League."
High School: Lettered four times in field hockey and softball, serving as captain of both teams, while also earning a letter in track & field ... Two-time Mercer County Defender of the Year by The Trentonian (2010-11) ... Three-time first-team selection by Central Jersey Field Hockey Coaches' Association (2009-11) ... Selected to first-team All-Colonial Valley Conference and Trenton Times first-team All-Area three times (2009-11) ... Competed in Junior Olympics (2009-10) ... Led her high school team to consecutive Mercer County Championships (2010-11), including a 25-0 season as a senior that was capped with a Group II State Championship ... Also a first-team All-Colonial Valley Conference and Carpenter Cup selection in softball ... National Honor Society member and Honor Roll student.
Personal: Daughter of Laurie and John Hunter ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fink on Lauren: "Being a two-time defender of the year allows for Lauren to join the program as a leader and premier freshman player in the league. Lauren has excellent game sense and is able to read the play and counter attack out of the back field. She is a true conductor on the field and we are looking forward to her making a lasting impression on Penn field hockey."
High School: Lettered four times in field hockey, winter track and spring track, and was captain of all three teams ... Competed in National Field Hockey Futures tournament twice ... Selected to play in the South Jersey Senior All-Star Game ... Two-time first-team All-South Jersey selection (2010-11) ... First-team All-State Group II as a senior (2011) after earning first-team (2010) and second-team (2009) All-South Jersey honors ... Three-time first-team All-Colonial Conference selection (2009-11) ...Led her high school team to three Colonial Conference and sectional championships (2008, 2010-11) in field hockey, including a 22-2 team record as a senior ... 2012 Colonial Conference Sportsmanship Award winner ... Helped her track teams win three sectional and conference championships ... Holds school track records in 55-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and 4x200-meter relay ... All-South Jersey in 400-meter and 4x400-meter relay ... National Honor Society member ... Peer Leader and Peer Mentor.
Personal: Daughter of Susan and Jim Johnston ... Twin sister, Katie, will play soccer and run track & field at William & Mary ... Has a younger brother, Alex ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fink on Megan: "Megan is physically powerful and has great field presence. She can distribute the ball well through the midfield while being a threat in possession and in scoring. Her track background and success highlights her speed and multi-dimensional ability."
Chapel Hill, N.C./Carrboro
High School: Lettered four times in field hockey and three times in lacrosse ... Two-year captain of the field hockey team ... Selected to compete at National Futures Championship from 2009-11 ...Competed in 2010 AAU Junior Olympic Games ... 2011 North Carolina East Region Player of the Year ... Named high school team's MVP in each of her last three seasons (2009-11) ... Twice selected to state all-star team (2010-11) ... Three-time all-conference and all-state player (2009-11) ... Led her field hockey team to a share of 2011 North Carolina East Region Championship ... National Honor Society member ... Member of Superintendent's Student Advisory Council ... Keynote Speaker at the 2009 Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference.
Personal: Daughter of Namita and Sanjoy Mahanty ... Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fink on Neela: "Neela loves the game of field hockey and has taken advantage of every playing opportunity given to her. She is passionate about her collegiate career and seeing Penn transform into a top Ivy League program. Neela's strength is her ability to possess the ball under significant pressure and she is a workhorse both offensively and defensively."