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CHANDLER, Ariz. - Led by four-year honorees Katie Breneman (Washington Boro, Pa.), Amanda Dinunzio (State College, Pa.) and Laura Gebhart (Mounty Joy, Pa.), the Penn State field hockey team totaled 12 representatives on the Gladiator by SGI / NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad for a third consecutive year, it was announced Tuesday.
Joining Breneman, DiNunzio and Gebhart were fellow senior Katie Andrews (Lancaster, Pa.), junior Haley Kerstetter (Selinsgrove, Pa.), sophomores Carly Celkos (Berlin, N.J.), Kirsten Gochnauer (Mount Joy, Pa.) and Grace Nissi (Duxbury, Mass.), and freshmen Emily Bruggemeier (Hershey, Pa.), Shay Cannon (Wilmington, Del.), Delani Higgins (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Kasandra Morano (Hammonton, N.J.)
The National Academic Squad recognizes student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher through the 2014 fall semester.
The entire team was recognized as a National Academic Squad by the NFHCA two weeks ago for posting a team GPA above 3.00.
The honor is yet another from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association for Gebhart, a community and environment development major, who was recognized last week with the NFHCA's Scholar of Distinction honor for posting a GPA above 3.90, and in December as a first-team All-American.
On the field Gebhart, was a four-time NFHCA All-American during her career. This past season, while dominating in the classroom, she finished tied for second on the team with 10 goals, tied for first with seven assists and second with 27 points. A team captain, Gebhart totaled at least one point in 10 games. She concluded her career eighth on Penn State's all-time assists list.
DiNunzio a Spanish major, was selected to the NFHCA All-Region first team for the first time this past season after posting a career-high six goals and three assists, seeing time at both midfield and forward. She led the team in the NCAA Tournament first round win against No. 11 Boston College, scoring a goal and assisting on the game-winner.
Breneman, a recreation, park and tourism management major, was a second team all-region selection after leading a defense that allowed just 1.32 goals per game in 2014, ranking 10th nationally. Breneman and the Penn State defense recorded six shutouts this season.