Conway's Katie Bishop started her career with the Merrimack College field hockey team as a sophomore transfer from Division I Hofstra and ended it as a two-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American.
"She was a really great addition when she entered in as a sophomore," said Warriors head coach Anne Rounce. "She had to adjust to Division II and what the program was about but she became a huge leader for our program."
The senior co-captain quickly became a defensive anchor for Merrimack, which has held opposing teams to 1.65 goals per game or fewer the last three seasons. Bishop was named a second-team All-American her junior season and was a first-team selection this year.
"I was very thankful and honored to even be recognized," Bishop said of being named an All-American in her final season. "I think it really showed all of the hard work and dedication over the countless years really did pay off in the end."
Merrimack's defense allowed just 1.60 goals per game this year, finishing as No. 7 in the nation in that category. The Kennett of Conway graduate recorded a career-high four goals and four assists for the Warriors this past season. Bishop had tallied just one goal for the Warriors heading into her senior campaign.
"I think it was the most offensive season I have ever had. I was more offensive this season compared to my mid role last year, which I think added to the goals and assists," said Bishop.
As one of three seniors on the roster this past season, Bishop also served as a leader to a Warriors team that featured 11 underclassmen.
"She thrived as a leader this year," said Rounce. "She just thrived and took a lot of kids under her wing...she's a teacher for these girls and she makes everything very applicable for the girls wherever they are in their levels which helps the coaching staff."
"I have alway kind of fallen into the leader role, I mean I tend to talk a lot," Bishop said with a laugh. "For me, there was not a ton of adjustment."
Unfortunately for Bishop, her collegiate career did not end on a high note. Merrimack (9-8 overall, 5-6 Northeast-10 Conference) finished this past season with a 2-1 overtime loss to Stonehill. The Warriors finished eighth in the NE-10 and did not reach the postseason for the first time since 2010.
"That was a rough one just because a couple plays ahead of time, my turnover tied (the game) and I was in when they scored in overtime," Bishop said of the loss to the Skyhawks. "It was hard to go out with that loss, especially to Stonehill."
The Warriors lost to Stonehill in the 2013 conference semifinals and to UMass Lowell in the 2012 final.
Bishop said it was difficult for her to miss the playoffs in her final season but she expects the Warriors to be contenders next season.
"It was hard but it didn't show how good of a team we were together. We had a young group this year and that goes to show how good we're going to be next year," Bishop said.
Rounce said it is going to be difficult to replace what Bishop brought to her team the last three seasons.
"We have big shoes to fill ... Katie brought a different level to her play, a different level of confidence," said Rounce. "Her on the field game presence, I don't know if we'll be able to replace her in a year."
Plymouth State's Nikki Garvey and Eileen Crutchfield were named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III All-New England second team. Garvey, a senior from Canaan, led the Little East Conference for the second straight season with 19 goals and eight assists. Crutchfield, a junior from Boscawen, helped the Panthers tally three shutouts on defense and made four defensive saves this season.
Men's indoor track
University of New Hampshire sophomore Michael Shanahan was named the America East field performer of the week this past week. Shanahan, a weight thrower from Dover, won the weight throwing event at the Jay Carisella Invitational on Dec. 13 with a distance of 18.65 meters.
Women's indoor track
UNH's Anne Twombly was selected as the America East female track performer of the week for her efforts at the Jay Carisella Invitational. Twombly, a senior from Exeter, won the 3,000-meter race at the Jay Carisella Invitational with a time of 9:55.04.
The ECAC announced University of Southern Maine freshman Jessica Williamson as its rookie of the year and a second-team all-conference selection. The outside hitter from Goffstown finished her first season with 496 kills, 352 digs and a .250 hitting percentage. Williamson was also named the Little East rookie of the year earlier this season.
Dave Moloney has been named the interim head coach of the St. Anselm men's lacrosse team, director of athletics Phil Rowe announced Thursday. Moloney served as the Hawks' head coach from 1998-2003 and was a volunteer coach for the team last season.
"We are thrilled that Dave has decided to stay with the program," Rowe said in a statement. "Dave's familiarity with the players and St. Anselm College will help make the transition from Steve's outstanding leadership to Dave's seamless for the players."
Moloney will take over for Steve Gaudreau, who resigned from the head coaching position in November.
SNHU Hall of Fame
Southern New Hampshire University will now induct new classes to its athletic hall of fame on a biennial basis by the Hall of Fame Committee, the university announced Monday. The induction ceremony will also be moved from January to homecoming weekend in the fall.
"Our Athletic Hall of Fame is a very prestigious event and I think these adjustments afford a respectful time period between classes," said SNHU Director of Athletics and Recreation Anthony Fallacaro in a statement.
Alex Hall compiles the college notebook for the New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AlexKHall.