GILBERT, Ariz. — Five student-athletes were selected to represent their respective region as the First Point USA/NFHCA Division I Regional Player of the Year.
Mid-Atlantic Region Player of the Year
Clara Roth, Princeton University, Jr., Forward (Schwetzingen, Germany)
Roth, a unanimous First Team All-Ivy League selection, has been named the First Point USA/NFHCA Mid-Atlantic Region Player of the Year after a successful season with National Championship runners-up, Princeton University.
Roth led the Tigers in goals (16) and points (43), while leading the Ivy League in goals per game and points per game. Roth's goalscoring abilities helped the Tigers to their second-consecutive NCAA Final Four appearance, as well as the 2019 Ivy League title. She was named to the Longstreth/NFHCA Mid-Atlantic Region First Team last week.
Mideast Region Player of the Year
Svea Boker, University of Connecticut, Sr., Forward (Bremen, Germany)
Boker, the 2019 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, has been named the First Point USA/NFHCA Mideast Region Player of the Year after a stellar season with the University of Connecticut Huskies.
Boker led the Huskies and ranked fourth in the nation with 21 goals and 55 points. She was recognized as the BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was a First Team All-Conference selection — she was also named to the Longstreth/NFHCA Mideast Region First Team. Boker finishes her career at UCONN with 55 goals and 163 points.
Northeast Region Player of the Year
Bente van Vlijmen, Harvard University, Sr., Midfielder (Zeist, The Netherlands)
Van Vlijmen, the 2019 Ivy League Player of the Year and a unanimous First Team All-Ivy League selection, has been named the First Point USA/NFHCA Northeast Region Player of the Year. At the end of Harvard's 2019 campaign, van Vlijmen led the Crimson in goals (13) and points (32). She was a Victory Sports Tours/NFHCA Division I Senior Game participant, and last week she was selected to the Longstreth/NFHCA Northeast Region First Team.
Van Vlijmen finishes her career with 45 goals and 104 points, putting her in second place on Harvard's all-time goals and points lists.
South Region Player of the Year
Erin Matson, University of North Carolina, So., Forward (Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania)
Matson, the 2019 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Offensive Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 NCAA National Championship Tournament, has been named the First Point USA/NFHCA South Region Player of the Year.
Matson finished her sophomore season with 33 goals and 15 assists, for 81 points — her offensive prowess put her first in the nation in points per game and goals per game categories. The University of North Carolina, the 2019 NCAA National Champions, finished the season 23-0 — Matson contributed to over half of the Tar Heels 92 goals this season. Last week, she was named to the Longstreth/NFHCA South Region First Team.
West Region Player of the Year
Katie Birch, University of Iowa, Sr., Midfielder/Defender (York, England)
Birch, the Big Ten Tournament MVP and unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection, has been named the First Point USA/NFHCA West Region Player of the Year.
Birch led the University of Iowa to Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships, playing an integral role on both sides of the ball — she finished the season with 24 points and was an important piece of the Hawkeye defensive unit. She was a Victory Sports Tours/NFHCA Division I Senior Game participant, and last week she was named to the Longstreth/NFHCA West Region First Team.
The First Point USA/NFHCA Division I Regional Player of the Year announcement is the second in a list of postseason awards from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). Last week the 2019 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Region teams were announced and next to be released are Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-American Teams (December 10) and the First Point USA/NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year (December 16).