NORTH ANDOVER — After helping the program advance to its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Final Four, the Merrimack College field hockey team landed four representatives on the Longstreth/NFHCA All-America Teams.
Three seniors — forwards Jessica Otis and Candace Waldie of North Andover and defender Sarah Dunbar — as well as junior defender Katie Bishop all garnered All-American status. For Otis, Waldie and Dunbar, it marked their second straight season on the All-America team, while Bishop earned the prestigious distinction for the first time in her career.
“I could not be more proud for our four All-Americans and for our program today,” head coach Anne Rounce noted. “I know they may not realize it right now, but it’s so, so difficult to become an All-American, especially as a defender because they don’t have the stats that offensive players do to bolster their resumes. All four of them were cornerstones and were huge reasons as to why we were so successful this year.”
Otis, a two-time First-Team All-American after being named to the squad in 2012, finished 2013 with 34 points (11 goals, 12 assists), ranking sixth nationally in assists per game and 13th in points per game. She tallied two game-winners and was the catalyst of Merrimack’s offense, which finished the season ranked seventh nationally.
Waldie, named to the All-America second team for the second year in a row, led the Warriors in scoring thanks to her team-leading 45 points (16 goals, 13 assists). She posted four game-winners and ranked in the top-10 nationally in goals, assists and points per game.
“It’s so great to see that they got the recognition they deserve,” Rounce continued. “Especially because we didn’t bring home the bigger title, this makes it that much more special that they can feel great how they ended the season, and for Jess, Candace and Sarah, end their careers on such a high note.”
Merrimack advanced to the Division 2 national semifinals before losing a 1-0 heartbreaker.