HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 8, 2012 – James Madison University field hockey coach Antoinette Lucas announced today the signing of six students-athletes to national letters of intent to join the Dukes for the 2012-2013 academic year.
The six newly-signed players include Erika Bienlien (Stafford, Va./Brooke Point), Saskia Chelmowski (Berlin, Germany/Gustav-Heinemann-Cherschule), Erin Gallivan (Fredericksburg, Va./Stafford), Bailee Hubert (Stafford, Va./Mountain View), Juila Osisek (Gibbsboro, N.J./Eastern) and Kristen Reitano (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne).
“The athletes who have committed to join us in 2012 have done so because they are incredibly passionate about JMU and the opportunities it will provide to them as student-athletes,” Lucas said. “With their combined passion for JMU, their mentality to excel and their physical talents, our 2012 class will add depth to our current roster, create a healthy competitive environment for playing time and enhance our ability to substitute players and full lines of play as necessary.”
Bienlien comes to JMU out of Brooke Point High School in Stafford, Va. She is a two-time All-State honoree, All-Region and All-Area selection. She has served as a team captain for three seasons and has been named All-District four times. On the national scene, she was chosen as a Futures Elite and Futures National Training Center level one. In 2011 her team finished the Futures championship in third. Academically she has earned her school’s academic award as well as the Academic Sports GPA Award. Bienlien is a two-sport athlete who also played varsity soccer at Brooke Point.
Chelmowski is one of three international players on the Dukes roster for 2012, joining the Dukes out of Berlin, Germany. She played for the Berleiner Hockey Club in the German Field Hockey Bundesliga. She joins returning international players redshirt sophomore forward Courtney Versfeld (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe/Dominican Convent) and freshman midfielder Ysaline Nobels (Dion-Valmont, Belgium/College du Christ-Roi).
Gallivan joins Madison out of Stafford High School where she was the Commonwealth District Player of the Year in 2011. She is also the Northwest Region Player of the Year and a First Team Freelance Star All-Area selection. Gallivan is a three-time First Team All-District honoree and was three times selected to play in the National Festival.
Hubert played for Mountain View High School in Stafford, Va. She was chosen the Freelance Star Player of the Year after scoring 26 goals and adding 13 assists while leading her team to an undefeated season and the Commonwealth District championship. Hubert was named a VHSCA Group AAA All-State selection and the Player of the Year by InsideNova.com.
Osisek comes to JMU out of Eastern High School in Voorhees, N.J. She was named First Team All-South Jersey by the Philly Inquirer and in 2010 was a First Team All-Group honoree. At Eastern High School she played for former JMU field hockey player Danyle (Heffeman) Heilig who also coached former Dukes Ashley, Lauren and Melissa Walls (2005-08) and Meghan Bain (2006-09).
Reitano played for Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Va., where she was a three-time First Team All-Beach District selection. As a senior she scored 13 goals and added 17 assists while being selected to play for the National Futures Elite program. As a junior, she added Second Team All-American honors to All-Region and All-Tidewater selections. Reitano is a member of the National Honor Society made Honor Roll all four years in high school. In addition to field hockey, she played lacrosse and basketball and ran indoor track for Princess Anne.
The Dukes return a roster that was one of the youngest in the nation in 2011. Seven different freshman started at least one game last season and JMU returns a lot of depth with 18 letterwinners and nine starters coming back for 2012.
“With recent rule changes, it is no longer possible to maintain a high standard and pace of play when only substituting 2-3 players per game,” Lucas said. “Depth and versatility amongst our lines of play is essential for sustained success throughout a game, throughout a season and of course during CAA and NCAA tournament play.”
Lucas added, “Needless to say, we are extremely excited about our current 2012 class and their ability to immediately impact our teams’ performance standards.”
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