CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard field hockey head coach Tjerk van Herwaarden and junior midfielder Bente van Vlijmen took home top year-end ECAC honors, the organization announced today (Dec. 13). Tjerk van Herwaarden was named ECAC Coach of the Year, while Bente van Vlijmen earned Offensive Player of the Year honors.
In addition, junior forward Maddie Earle, sophomore defender Hannah Pearce, and van Vlijmen earned spots on the All-ECAC Team.
Tjerk van Herwaarden helped guide Harvard to a record-setting season with a 17-2 (7-0 Ivy League) mark, as the Crimson set a school marks for wins (17) and wins in a row (14), and had the highest national ranking (No. 6) since the program's inception in 1974. The Crimson won its fifth Ivy League title, and earned its sixth NCAA Tournament bid, reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time ever with a 6-1 win over No. 9 Penn State in the first round.
Harvard had one of the nation's best defensive units (No. 2 NCAA), allowing .74 goals per game, with 10 shutouts. The Crimson did not allow a goal at Berylson Field all season, outscoring opponents 33-0 with an 8-0 record on its home field. Harvard was also a prolific offensive team (No. 4 NCAA) averaging 3.68 goals per game.
Bente van Vlijmen had her best season in a Harvard uniform, becoming the first three-time All-American in program history when she earned Longstreth/NFHCA Third Team All-American honors. The Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Year, and a unanimous First Team All-Ivy selection, she finished the year with a career-high 32 points (13 goals, six assists) and led the team with 78 shots and 49 shots on goal, almost twice as much as the next highest number on the team.
Earle was a Longstreth/NFHCA Northeast Region First Team selection and the Ivy League scoring champion, finishing the year with 38 points (16 goals, six assists). Her point total is third all-time in Harvard history, just behind the school record (42 points) held by Judy Collins '99 and Shelley Maasdorp '05. A First Team All-Ivy selection, Earle had 14 goals in her last 12 games, including hat tricks against No. 18 Maine and Cornell, and was a big part of Harvard's fourth-ranked scoring offense (3.68 goals per game).
Pearce was a Longstreth/NFHCA Northeast Region First Team selection and a First Team All-Ivy honoree. She was a big part of the Crimson's nation-leading defensive unit, allowing .74 goals per game, with 10 shutouts. The sophomore back has started every game since she arrived at Harvard and added a goal and three assists on the offensive end this year.