PHILADELPHIA – Penn field hockey held its annual team banquet recently, handing out its annual awards.
The Gail Lipstein Award is given to the team’s most outstanding freshman. Elizabeth Hitti dictated play in her first year in Philadelphia, and was one of just five players – the only freshman – to start all 17 games. Hitti was a two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week and earned honorable mention All-Ivy honors. The freshman led the team with three game-winning goals, tied for team lead in assists (6), tied for second on the team in goals (6) and was third on the team with 18 points.
The Ashland, Mass. native won her first Rookie of the Week award after her collegiate debut against Lehigh on Aug. 31 – she scored one goal and assisted another in the 5-2 win over the Mountain Hawks. Hitti put together two outstanding performances just a few weeks later, scoring two goals in a 4-3 win over La Salle on Sept. 19 and notching one goal and an assist in a 4-3 win over Harvard on Sept. 22. Those back-to-back performances earned her a second Rookie of the Week award. The attacker also helped Penn defeat Villanova on the road for the first time since 1994 on Oct. 24 by scoring the game-winning goal.
The Diane Angstadt Award is given to the team’s most inspirational player. Sarah Hasson dominated in her final season at Penn and earned honorable mention All-Ivy recognition for the second time in her career. The senior played in all 17 games, starting 10, and led or tied for the team lead in almost every offensive category. Hasson led the Quakers in points (22) and shots (49), and tied for the team lead in goals (8) and assists (6).
The Warrington, Pa. native highlighted her season on Sept. 22 when she led Penn to a 4-3 victory of Harvard. Hasson scored two goals and assisted another, which resulted in her being recognized as the co-Ivy League Player of the Week on Sept. 25.
The Anne Towsend Award is given to the team’s most valuable player. Junior co-captain Julie Tahan received this award, and it was well deserved after she earned second-team All-Ivy honors this past season. This was her second-career team award, as she won the Gail Lipstein award in 2010. The Morristown, N.J. native was one of just five players to start all 17 games and tied for the team lead with eight goals – notching a goal in each of Penn’s first four games. Additionally, Tahan was second on the team in points (20) and shots (44), tied for second in game-winning goals (2) and tied for third with four assists.
She had several highlights throughout the season, beginning with her two-goal performance against Towson on Sept. 2 when she scored the game-winner in the 4-3 victory. Tahan made the difference in a 3-2 win over Yale on Oct. 20, assisting on the first two scores, and putting the game-winner in the back of the cage herself. Against another Ivy rival, Brown, on Oct. 28, the junior assisted on Penn’s only regulation goal, and then netted the game-winner in overtime for the 2-1 win over the Bears.
Penn has continued its upward trend under head coach Colleen Fink, and these three players can be looked at as significant reasons. The Quakers have also added three more players for the 2013 season, and will look to improve on its best record since 2006.