Six Lions Earn All-Ivy Field Hockey Season Honors; Kozlowski Named Unanimously To First Team
NEW YORK - Just five days after the Columbia field hockey team's thrilling 2011 season concluded with a convincing 3-0 Senior Day win over Harvard, six Lions garnered All-Ivy League honors as announced by the conference office on Wednesday.
Junior forward Gabby Kozlowski, senior midfielder Leti Freaney and junior goalkeeper Christie O'Hara earned First Team All-Ivy League honors. Senior forward Carson Christus and junior back Katie DeSandis received Second Team All-Ivy League honors. Junior midfielder Paige Simmons was an Honorable Mention All-Ivy League selection.
"On behalf of the entire Columbia staff and program I want to share how elated we are for this exceedingly-talented group of women," head coach Marybeth Freeman said. "To have six athletes represent Columbia on a distinguished list of top league performers is a testament to how hard they worked this season. These student-athletes had the drive, ability and knowledge to push themselves out of their comfort zone and raise the bar higher to see what they could accomplish. I'm happy about the significant mark these women made on our 2011 season."
Columbia's six selections are the most in school history, topping the previous high of three from the 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons. The six selections are also the third most of any Ivy League school, just behind Princeton and Yale, which both have seven.
Kozlowski was a unanimous first-team selection for the second straight year. She finished the season with team highs of 10 goals, 22 points and 63 shots. She also had two assists and two game-winners. Her 10 goals marked her second straight year in double-digit scoring (16 goals in 2010). She is tied for fourth in the Ivy League in goals and eighth in points and her 63 shots are the fourth most in the conference. Kozlowski was named Ivy League Player of the Week Honors on Oct. 25 after she recorded two goals and one assist in Columbia's 4-2 win over Dartmouth. She finished the season with 30 career goals, moving her into second place on Columbia's all-time scoring list. Her 65 career points rank third in Columbia field hockey history.
Freaney earned All-Ivy honors for the second time in her career. In 2009, she was an an Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection. The senior captain enjoyed the best year of her career, leading the team with three game-winners and tying for second on the team with four goals and 11 points. Her three game-winners are also for second most in the Ivy League. Freaney was named to the Weekly Honor Roll on Oct. 18 after scoring two game-winning goals and adding one assist in wins over Penn and Virginia Commonwealth. Freaney's unmatched stickwork and ball control made her one of Columbia's most reliable players. She finished her Columbia career with seven goals, six assists, 20 points, 57 shots and four game-winners.
O'Hara earned All-Ivy honors for the first time after a standout season in which she ranked among the top goalkeepers in the nation in saves and save percentage. Her career-high 120 saves ranks third in the Ivy League and her 8.00 saves-per-game average is tied for the 10th-best mark in the nation. O'Hara's career-best .784 save percentage ranks second in the Ivy League and eighth in the country. She was one of the league's most consistent performers on a weekly basis as she was named to the Weekly Honor Roll six times. O'Hara recorded her second career shutout in Columbia's thrilling 1-0 shootout win over Lafayette on Oct. 25. She has 281 career saves and ranks fourth on the Lions' all-time list.
Christus earned All-Ivy honors for the first time in her career. The senior captain's four goals tied for second on the team. She also tallied one assist, nine points and 19 shots in her final season in Columbia blue. A well-respected leader whose tough play and versatility across the field was recognized throughout the conference, Christus finished her Lions career with 12 goals, four assists, 28 points, 85 shots and one game-winner. Her 12 career goals are tied for the seventh most in Columbia field hockey history.
Katie DeSandis established herself as one of the premier defensive players in the Ivy League and in the nation, earning All-Ivy honors for the second time in her career. In 2009, she was named Honorable Mention All-Ivy League. This season, DeSandis leads the Ivy League and is tied for seventh in the nation with six defensive saves. Her defensive tenacity helped set the tone for Columbia, which boasted one of the most formidable back lines in the league. She was named to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll on Oct. 11 after she recorded an amazing three defensive saves at then-No. 5 Syracuse.
Simmons earned All-Ivy honors for the first time in her career after tying for the team lead with five assists and tying for second on the squad with 11 points and 38 shots. She also tallied a career-high three goals in her breakout junior season. Simmons was twice named to the Ivy League's Weekly Honor Roll. On Sept. 27, she garnered weekly honors after she had one goal and one assist against Quinnipiac and Cornell. On Oct. 18, she was picked for the honor roll after she tallied one goal and two assists in Columbia's wins over Penn and Virginia Commonwealth.
"It is terrific for this group of student athletes to get recognized, and I know each of those garnering these accolades know their teammates helped them get there," Freeman said. "I'm sincerely proud of every single member of this Columbia program. A congrats to all of those selected from other teams, all well-deserving."