As a high school senior in Fairfax, Va., Lisa Charney fell just shy of a field hockey championship round. Four years later, Charney got her chance to compete on a national stage, this time as co-captain of the University of Mary Washington’s top-ranked field hockey team.
Along the way, the senior psychology major racked up regional and national awards and set new UMW records.
“Being able to go this far senior year of college was absolutely amazing,” Charney said. “To do it with such an amazing team was an experience I‘ll never forget.”
UMW’s team reached the semifinal round of the NCAA Division III championships, after a season for the record books. Ranked in the top three nationwide, the Eagles finished the season with a 20-2 record and with players like Charney receiving accolades.
Charney, who set a UMW season record with 25 goals, was named Player of the Year for the 2012 Field Hockey College Division All-State Team. She earned National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFCA) first-team All-American honors and was named NFHCA Regional Player of the Year and Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Co-Player of the Year. Charney also was named the SynapseSports.com National Division III Player of the Year.
“I didn’t expect to get any of them,” she said of the awards. “I was just expecting to go into the season and play my heart out, since it was my senior year.”
Although the players had set high goals for themselves before the season – to win the CAC conference and to advance to the NCAA championships – Charney was shocked when the honors came in.
“I know there are so many great players out there,” she said. “Seeing that I was getting recognized was elating. It is a great feeling to know that I’m up there with those other players.”
For Coach Lindsey Elliott, named 2012 Dita/NFHCA South Region Coach of the Year and 2012 CAC Coach of the Year, Charney’s awards are fitting.
“Lisa has been one of the key reasons why our team was so successful this year,” Elliott said. “Her never-quit attitude on the field has allowed her to become the leading scorer on our team and in our conference. Her skill ability and willingness to get the job done will be missed next year.”
Although Charney’s career as a player has ended, she knows field hockey will remain a part of her life and is thankful for the memories of a national championship season.
“Making it to the final four and being with the team that I absolutely love was just icing on the cake to an already amazing season,” she said.