Heck, van Gils, Griffin tabbed as NFHCA National Players of the Year

Dec 15, 2023 | 2023-2024, Division I, Division II, Division III, News

GENEVA, N.Y. — Ryleigh Heck, a sophomore forward from the University of North Carolina, Jady van Gils, a junior midfielder from East Stroudsburg University, and Amy Griffin, a junior midfielder from Middlebury College, have been named their respective division’s National Player of the Year for their performances in the 2023 season.

Their combined skills go beyond simple accomplishments, making them leaders in excellence and talent in the highly competitive world of collegiate field hockey. The NFHCA National Player of the Year announcement marks the pinnacle of a series of prestigious postseason athletic awards. The NFHCA is set to unveil academic honors in February.

Ryleigh Heck, Division I

Division I

Ryleigh Heck, University of North Carolina, So., Forward (Ocean City, New Jersey)

  • NFHCA South Region Player of the Year, NFHCA Division I First-Team All-American, and NFHCA Division I South Region First-Team honoree
  • All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) First Team and ACC Tournament MVP
  • NCAA All-Tournament Team
  • Scored the deciding goal in the NCAA Championship game to give the University of North Carolina (UNC) the 2-1 double overtime shootout win
  • Led UNC in scoring with 34 points on 13 goals and eight assists
  • This is UNC’s fifth NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year honor
Jady van Gils

Division II

Jady van Gils, East Stroudsburg University, Jr., Midfielder (Amersfoort, The Netherlands)

  • NFHCA Atlantic Region Player of the Year and NFHCA Division II First-Team All-American
  • Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) All-Conference First-Team selection and PSAC Athlete of the Year
  • Named the PSAC Tournament MVP after scoring the game-winning goal in double overtime
  • Ranked second on the team in points (25), tied for second in goals (10) and assists (5)
  • Led East Strodusburg University (ESU) to a 18-3 overall record, a regular season and postseason PSAC title and a return trip to the NCAA Division II final
  • This is ESU’s first NFHCA Division II National Player of the Year honor
Amy Griffin

Division III

Amy Griffin, Middlebury College, Jr., Midfielder (Wilmette, Illinois)

  • NFHCA Region II Player of the Year, NFHCA Division III First-Team All-American, and NFHCA Division III Region II First-Team honoree
  • New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Defensive Player of the Year and All-NESCAC First-Team
  • NCAA All-Tournament Team
  • Led the NESCAC in points (56), tied for first in goals (23), and fourth in assists (10)
  • Tallied a point in 18 of 22 games this fall, highlighted by a hat trick in the NESCAC quarterfinals and the game-winning goal in the NCAA semifinal victory over Babson College
  • Finished the year ranked 11th in Division III in points per game (2.55) and 19th in goals per game (1.05)
  • This is Middlebury’s fifth NFHCA Division III National Player of the Year honor

Division I photo credit: Jeffrey A. Camarati
Division II photo credit: Dave Janosz
Division III photo credit: Steven Goldburg

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the association is to champion, strengthen, and celebrate field hockey coaches and the game. The NFHCA strives to be the organization that every field hockey coach looks to for the resources to grow in the game and the inspiration to stay in the game.