CHANDLER, Ariz. – The 2015 4U Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III Regional Coach of the Year honors have been announced and Mount Holyoke College head coach Andy Whitcomb was recognized as the New England East Region Coach of the Year. It marks the third time in her 18-year career at the helm of the Lyons that she has been recognized.
Whitcomb, who was assisted this season by Sherry Webb, Tricia Chase '12, Meredith Spencer-Blaetz '11 and Kirsti Wiemokly '12, was recognized after guiding the Lyons to its third NEWMAC Championship title in program history. Mount Holyoke finished the season with a 15-7 overall record, going 5-3 in conference play. Earning the fifth-seed in the NEWMAC Tournament, the Lyons defeated MIT, 2-1 in the Quarterfinals, upset top-seeded Babson, 1-0 in double overtime of the Semifinals, before defeating second-seeded Wellesley by a 2-1 margin in a shootout during the championship game.
It was the third straight NEWMAC Championship appearance for the Lyons, also marking the program's third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Mount Holyoke earned the automatic qualifying bid into this year's event, shouldering a tough 3-1 loss to Stevens Institute of Technology in the First Round.
Whitcomb's team finished 14th and 18th in save percentage and goals against average, respectively, among Division III teams. Against its NEWMAC competitors, MHC notched a conference-high 168 saves this season, while also notching a league-best eight defensive stops.
The Lyons saw one player named to the Longstreth/NFHCA Division III All-America Third Team, while four players garner All-New England East Region honors, including three on the First Team. In the NEWMAC, three players earned All-Conference recognition, two on the First Team, while six garnered NEWMAC Academic All-Conference accolades.
One of the top coaches in the northeast, she has posted an impressive 213-141-1 (.601) record since taking over the reigns of the Lyons program in 1998. Her teams have qualified for the NEWMAC Tournament in each of the past 17 seasons.
In her career, Whitcomb has posted an overall record of 236-168-1, which includes a two-year stint at Montclair State prior to her arrival at MHC. She captured her 200th career victory in a 5-2 win over Gwynedd-Mercy University in the NCAA Tournament First Round and notched her 200th career win at Mount Holyoke in a 9-2 win at Castleton on September 12, 2015.
Under Whitcomb's direction, the Lyons have claimed NEWMAC Tournament Championships in 2001, 2003 and 2015. The team has made five appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament, including four times in the Second Round. Whitcomb was the NEWMAC Coach of the Year and NFHCA New England East Region Coach of the Year for her efforts in both 2001 and 2003.
The 2015 4U Field Hockey / NFHCA Division III National Coach of the Year will be announced at the NFHCA Awards Breakfast to be held on Friday, January 8th in Naples, Florida.