Heck, Irigoyen named NFHCA Division I National Players of the Week

Nov 10, 2022 | 2022-2023, Division I, News

Photo credit: Liberty Athletics, UNC Athletic Communications

GENEVA, N.Y. — Junior goalkeeper from No. 13 Liberty University, Azul Iritxity Irigoyen, and first-year midfielder/forward from No. 1 University of North Carolina, Ryleigh Heck, have been named this week’s NFHCA Division I Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week sponsored by ScoreBreak, respectively. The performance of No. 4 University of Michigan, Kathryn Peterson, merited an honorable mention.

NFHCA Division I Defensive Player of the Week


Azul Iritxity Irigoyen, No. 13 Liberty University, Jr., Goalkeeper (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

  • Led Liberty to their second consecutive BIG EAST Championship title
  • Made a total of 13 saves throughout the tournament while only allowing two goals
  • Made nine saves in the 2-1 BIG EAST semifinal victory vs then-No. 14 University of Connecticut
  • Made four saves in the 3-1 BIG EAST championship victory vs then-No. 13 Old Dominion University
  • Named the Most Outstanding Player of the BIG EAST Championship

NFHCA Division I Offensive Player of the Week


Ryleigh Heck, No. 1 University of North Carolina, Fr., Midfielder/Forward (North Beach, New Jersey)

  • Scored three key goals during the ACC tournament to help UNC capture their sixth consecutive title
  • Scored one goal in the 2-1 ACC semifinal victory vs then-No. 10 Syracuse University
  • Scored two goals in the 3-2 ACC championship victory vs then-No. 5 University of Virginia
  • Tied for second in the ACC for goals (16) and ranks seventh nationally for goals per game (.94)
  • This is Heck’s second NFHCA Player of the Week recognition this season

Honorable Mention

Kathryn Peterson, No. 4 University of Michigan, Fifth Year, Midfielder, (San Diego, California)

  • Helped lead Michigan to their eighth Big Ten Tournament title in program history
  • Scored both of Michigan’s goals in the 2-1 semifinal win over then-No. 3 Penn State University
  • Named Big Ten Tournament MVP

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 organization is to champion, strengthen, and celebrate field hockey coaches and the game. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.