LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Gearing up for the upcoming 2011 Virginia 529 Colonial Athletic Association Field Hockey Championship, University of Delaware goalkeeper Noelle Diana was selected to participate in the 2011 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Senior Game on November 19 at the University of Louisville.
Diana is the first Blue Hen to be selected to the NFHCA Senior Game since Casey Howard earned a spot on the team in 2009.
Diana, along with 27 other seniors across the nation, will not only compete against each other, but also against the U.S. Women’s National Team in a series of four 25 minute sessions.
“It's an honor to be able to go,” an elated Diana said. “It will be a great experience to be able to play with the top players across the country. It will also be a really cool experience to play against the National team.”
The senior goalkeeper is currently fifth on UD’s all-time list with 341 career saves. She is only four away from moving into fourth place, while only playing the majority of three seasons.
“My goal for the past four years has been to represent Delaware,” Diana continued. “I think its great that the CAA has stepped up its level of play and been able to play with the bigger conferences. Even ODU being at the number one spot (in the Kookaburra/NFHCA Coaches’ Poll) for most of the year has been great for the CAA as a whole.”
Along with Diana, seven other members of the CAA have been selected to play in this year’s Senior All-Star Game. Northeastern’s Pam Aldridge and Kaela Barker, Old Dominion’s Kathryn Kirk and Stephanie Kratzer, Hofstra’s Genna Kovar, Drexel’s Sofia Sanguinetti, and James Madison’s Margo Savage will all represent the CAA against the other top student-athletes in the country.
“I am very happy for Noelle,” first year head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof said. “Noelle has been one of the backbones in our defense this year, as well as one of the vocal leaders on the field. She has done an outstanding job through her four years representing Delaware as a Blue Hen. I hope she may enjoy the experience playing against the best players in the country as well as playing against the U.S. National team that just qualified for the Olympics.”
Instead of facing the nation’s top collegiate team, Diana will be squaring off against the nation’s best players, both seasoned vets and recently graduated players on the U.S. National squad.
“When I first started playing field hockey in Futures, I played against a six-foot monster and I asked for more pads,” joked Diana. “Then growing up and playing through the collegiate ranks, the play just became better. Playing against the ODU’s the UNC’s, the Maryland’s, those are the kind of girls that play on the national team, and now they will be all on the same team. I won’t be intimidated by any stretch, but I will definitely have to be on my toes at all times. Just to be on the field with the national team will be a great experience.”
The 2011 NFHCA Division I Senior Game will be playing on November 19 at the University of Louisville. The games are slated to start at 3 p.m. More information on the games and the entire selected field can be found at nfhca.org.