Field Hockey Senior Named National Player of the Year

Forward/midfielder Maria Elena Bolles '14 (NUR) during the game against Villanova on Sept. 28, 2013. (UConn Athletics Photo)

Forward/midfielder Maria Elena Bolles ’14 (NUR) during the game against Villanova on Sept. 28. (UConn Athletics Photo)

University of Connecticut field hockey senior Marie Elena Bolles ’14 (NUR) has been named the Division I National Player of the Year, as announced by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) on Tuesday. Bolles is the first UConn player to receive the honor since its inception in 2010.

Bolles proved to be an unstoppable threat on the UConn offense over the past four seasons, concluding her career with her best statistical year. Bolles appeared on the score sheet in 17 of the team’s 25 games, including six multi-point performances highlighted by a hat trick against Georgetown and a career-high four goals against Temple. She totaled 25 goals and 17 assists for a 48-point season, all of which are career-bests, to help the Huskies to their first National Championship since 1985.

Forward/midfielder Maria Elena Bolles '14 (NUR) during the Big East Tournament semifinal against Temple on Nov. 8, 2013. (UConn Athletics Photo)

Forward/midfielder Maria Elena Bolles ’14 (NUR) during the Big East Tournament semifinal against Temple on Nov. 8. (UConn Athletics Photo)

The Phoenixville, Pa. native collected nearly every possible award this season. Twice she was named Offensive Player of the Week this season and, on the eve of the Big East Tournament semifinals, Bolles was tabbed as a First Team All-Big East selection for the fourth consecutive year. Following UConn’s overtime victory over Old Dominion to claim its second consecutive conference championship, Bolles was announced as a member of the Big East All-Tournament Team.

On a national level, the NFHCA recognized Bolles as the Mideast Region Player of the Year, in addition to listing her as a First Team All-Region choice, and Bolles took home an NCAA All-Tournament nod following UConn’s national title. This week, Bolles was named to the All-American First Team for the first time in her career; she earned All-American Third Team recognition in 2012.

The National Player of the Year award caps a sensational career at Connecticut for the decorated senior. In her four years, Bolles has amassed 129 total points to finish in sixth place on UConn’s all-time points list. Her 47 career tallies earn her eighth on the Huskies’ all-time goals list, while her 35 helpers tie Jestine Angelini (2009-11) for ninth in the career assists column. Boasting an impressive field hockey resume, Bolles is a three-time All-Mideast Region selection; a three-time All-Big East First Team recipient; a two-time All-American; and last season, Bolles was recognized as the 2012 Big East Offensive Player of the Year.

The senior has been a part of a championship squad in some capacity in three of her four seasons, claiming the Big East regular season championship in 2011 and 2013; the Big East Championship in 2012 and 2013; and, most recently, winning the 2013 National Championship.

Bolles’ long list of accolades and impressive career numbers place her among the ranks of UConn field hockey greats. She joins the likes of Honda Broderick Cup winners Laurie Decker (1983), Tracey Fuchs (1987), and Diane Madl (1988), all decorated players who donned the Husky uniform.