GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Twenty-three student-athletes were honored on Wednesday as part of the 2016 Field Hockey All-Atlantic Coast Conference Team, as announced by ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
Headlining the All-ACC Team are Virginia’s Tara Vittese, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and North Carolina’s Julia Young, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Wake Forest’s Nicola Pluta was voted as the ACC Freshman of the Year, while Duke’s Pam Bustin garnered ACC Coach of the Year accolades.
The All-ACC Team and the four individual awards are decided by a vote of the league’s seven head coaches.
A junior midfielder from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Vittese finished the season with 11 goals and eight assists, and led the league with 4.32 shots per game. The 2015 NFHCA National Player of the Year, she was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week twice this season and was named the National Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 4.
Young led a Tar Heel defensive unit that ranks third in the country with 1.14 goals allowed per game. The senior back from Yorktown, Virginia, also finished tied for third on the team with five assists.
A freshman forward from Moenchengladbach, Germany, Pluta finished her first collegiate regular season with 17 goals and 40 points, both of which led the league. She also tied for the league lead with six goals scored in conference play, and is the first Demon Deacon to be named ACC Freshman of the Year since Anna Kozniuk in 2011.
Bustin led the Blue Devils to the first ACC regular season title in program history after finishing league play with a 5-1 record. Currently 15-2 overall on the season, Duke ascended to the No. 1 spot in the NFHCA rankings on Oct. 25, another first for the program. This is the second ACC Coach of the Year honor for Bustin, who was also recognized in 2011.
Vittese joins teammate Lucy Hyams as three-time All-ACC honorees, while Boston College’s Emily McCoy, Louisville’s Nicole Woods, North Carolina’s Emma Bozek and Young, and Syracuse’s Roos Weers and Laura Hurff were recognized for a second time in their careers.
All seven of the league’s teams are represented on the All-ACC squads, led by five student-athletes each from Louisville and North Carolina.
The 2016 ACC Field Hockey Championship gets underway Thursday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Thursday’s quarterfinals are scheduled for 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4 p.m., and the semifinals will be at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The championship will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. All six games of the championship will be broadcast on RSN and ACC Network Extra.
2016 ACC Field Hockey Individual Honors
Offensive Player of the Year – Tara Vittese, Virginia
Defensive Player of the Year – Julia Young, North Carolina