ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan field hockey head coach Nancy Cox announced today (Tuesday, Feb. 12) that three high school seniors -- Jessica Allen(Gibbsboro, N.J./Eastern Regional HS), Bryn Bain(Berlin, N.J./Eastern Regional HS) and Hannah Dawson(Berlin, N.J./Eastern Regional HS) -- have committed to attend U-M and play field hockey for the Wolverines during the 2008 season.
The trio will join the Michigan program after competing together for four years at Eastern Regional High School in Vorhees, N.J. -- the alma mater of former Wolverine All-American Lori Hillman (2002-05). During their tenure, the Vikings captured four New Jersey Group IV state championships and, in 2006, the state's prestigious Tournament of Champions title. In 2004, Eastern Regional was recognized as the nation's top-rated high school program.
"We're pleased to officially welcome Jess, Bryn and Hannah to the Michigan field hockey family," said Cox. "Throughout their recruitment, all three expressed a passion for the athletic and academic excellence that being part of the Michigan field hockey family will afford them. As a coaching staff, we believe these three young women have the ability and passion for hockey, team and academics to help grow our program. We are obviously thrilled to get three exceptional young women from a fine high school field hockey program -- Eastern Regional High. A former Eastern Regional and U-M graduate, Lori Hillman left Michigan as a first team All-American. We expect Hannah, Bryn and Jess to possess the same passion for the game that Hillman demonstrated. We recognize that Danyle Helig -- their head coach prepares her student-athletes well for the rigors of the intercollegiate environment."
A forward, Allen, was twice named the Field Hockey Club of South Jersey's Offensive Player of the Year (2006, '07) after accumulating 84 goals and 31 assists over her four-year prep career at Eastern. She was selected to the NFHCA All-America second team following her junior and senior seasons (2006, '07) and twice named to the New Jersey First Team All-State (2006, '07). A 2005 Junior Olympic competitor, Allen was twice invited to participate in the Junior National and Olympic Development camps (2006, '07) and joined the U19 squad on its 2007 tour of Argentina. She will also participate in the team's tour of Japan this spring. Off the field, Allen was a 2007 NFHCA Academic All-America selection. Her mother, Hope [nee Whitcraft], was a four-year letterwinner at the University of Iowa (1983-87), where she was a teammate of former U-M head coach Marcia Pankratz.
"Jess was passionate about wearing a Maize and Blue jersey," said Cox. "She is a handy and resourceful goal scorer, and, above all, she is a diligent worker and embraces the opportunity to work hard on the field and in the classroom, which is the Michigan way."
Bain, a midfielder, comes to Michigan after leading the Vikings' scoring efforts in 2007 with 28 goals and 19 assists. She garnered the Field Hockey Club of South Jersey's Midfielder of the Year accolades during each of her final three seasons (2005, '06, '07), becoming the first-ever sophomore to receive one of the club's player of the year nods in 2005. Boasting career totals of 28 goals and 45 assists, Bain earned NFHCA All-America first (2006) and second (2007) team honors and was recently named to the 2007 Academic All-America squad. A three-time Futures Elite selection, Bain participated in the 2007 Junior National Camp and competed in the CanAm Challenge, where she was coached by Cox. Her sister, Meghan, is a current member of the James Madison field hockey team.
"Bryn is a tremendous ball striker has great speed and good delivery skills off the move, said Cox. "She is an extremely coachable young woman. We're thrilled she elected to become a Wolverine. We believe Bryn will become an exceptional student-athlete in our program."
A defender, Dawson was a four-year mainstay in the Vikings' backfield, earning the Field the Hockey Club of South Jersey's Defensive Player of the Year honors at the completion of her senior season (2007). Dawson was a 2007 NFHCA All-America first team selection and twice named to the NFHCA MidAtlantic-Region team (2006, '07). Ending her high school career with 14 goals and 14 assists, Dawson was a two-time selection to the Newark Star Ledger all-state first (2007) and second (2006) teams. She was participant at the 2007 Olympic Development and Futures Development Invitation Camps and for the U19 team at the CanAm Challenge. Dawson is the fifth in an outstanding lineage of field hockey players in her family. Her eldest sisters, Natalie and Sarah, competed at Iowa, while Rachel and Meghan were members of the North Carolina squad that won the 2007 NCAA Championships. Rachael captured the 2007 Honda-Broderick Award for field hockey.
"Hannah is fiery competitor who is a blue collar player through and through," said Cox. "She possesses a tremendous passion to work hard and continue to improve. Her passion to work hard will be a beneficial attribute for success in a maize and blue jersey and in the classroom."
The Wolverines (16-7, 6-0 Big Ten) wrapped up the 2007 campaign with their eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years after capturing the Big Ten for the sixth time in program history.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423