App State field hockey

BOONE — Appalachian State announced a three-year contract extension for field hockey head coach Meghan Dawson on May 2. The new contract runs through the 2021 season.

“Meg has been a tremendous leader for our field hockey program,” Appalachian State Athletic Director Doug Gillin said in a statement. “Academically, socially and competitively, field hockey student-athletes are performing at a high level. The future of App State field hockey is very bright.”

Dawson, who enters her fifth season as Appalachian’s head coach in 2019, helped lead her squad to its first two Mid-American Conference tournament victories in program history last season. The Mountaineers entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed and dominated an opening-round matchup with a 5-2 win over Central Michigan.

App State then secured a 2-0 upset victory over No. 3 seed Longwood, which put the Mountaineers in the semifinals.

“I’m extremely grateful to continue to be the head coach of the Appalachian State field hockey program,” Dawson said in a statement. “I’m excited to continue to work with these great student-athletes who constantly strive to give their best on and off the field. Our program is constantly growing and improving, and that is because of the hard work of our student-athletes.”

Many of Dawson’s players had breakout campaigns in 2018. Sophomores Annette Jarosz and Veerle Van Heertum both earned All-MAC honors, while Van Heertum became the first Mountaineer since 2003 to earn a spot on the NFHCA South Region Second Team.

Aside from on-field success, Dawson’s team impressed in the classroom with a 3.36 GPA in the fall. Dawson’s team also set a program record in 2018 with 18 NFHCA National Academic Squad recipients. The previous record of 16 honorees also came under Dawson’s tutelage.

Dawson, a two-time national champion as a player at North Carolina, was named the Mountaineers’ head coach on March 25, 2015. Since her arrival, she has overseen the team’s transition into the MAC while instilling a philosophy of playing elite competition. The Mountaineers faced four ranked ACC foes – Wake, Duke, Louisville and North Carolina – in 2018.

In 2017, Dawson guided Appalachian to eight victories for the first time since 2003. The 2017 season was also the Mountaineers’ first in the MAC, and App State finished with a solid 3-3 conference record with two wins against Central Michigan and a 3-2 home triumph over Ohio.

The Mountaineers welcome back 22 players for the 2019 campaign, including five players who scored 10 points or more this past season – Van Heertum (27), Friederike Stegen (23), Ali Williams (18), Chloe Bell (12) and Melissa Nobile (10).

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