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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nikki Freeman, Mya Christopher, Lizzy Cimilluca, Emily Deuell, and Ashley Drum have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa next fall, UI field hockey head coach Lisa Cellucci announced Wednesday.
“We are extremely excited to add five outstanding people and field hockey players to our program, said Cellucci. “Their skill, speed, competitiveness and work rate will be an awesome addition to our returning group. They will add depth to every line on the field. This class is determined to make an impact right away and help build on the tradition of excellence within in our program. We can’t wait for them to get on campus and get started.”
The incoming class joins a program that has 22 NCAA Tournament Appearances, 11 Final Fours, 12 Big Ten Championships and has produced 89 All Americans.
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
Freeman, a midfielder from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, attends Hunterdon Central Regional High School where she is coached by Jennifer Sponzo. She is a two-time all-conference, first team all-county, and North Jersey first team All-Star Team selection. Freeman was a member of the Total Dutch Field Hockey Club from 2011-16, and is currently a part of the Princeton Field Hockey Club. Freeman participated in the 2015 Junior Olympics, and has also competed in the National Futures Championship the past two years.
Freeman: Why Iowa? “I chose Iowa because of its amazing academic and athlete programs. There is so much school pride and support coming from fellow student, athletes and faculty”
Christopher, a forward from Hershey, Pennsylvania, attends Hershey High School where she is coached by Tabi Kleese. Christopher is a two-time first team Mid-Penn Keystone selection. The three-year varsity letter winner has scored over 50 goals in her career. She was named to the all-state team and the MaxFieldHockey.com Top-50 in 2015. Christopher helped lead Hershey to the PIAA District III Quarterfinals in 2014 and the Semifinals in 2015. She has participated in the AAU Junior Olympics in 2014-2015 and was a member of the USA U17 National Team in 2015-2016.
Christopher: Why Iowa? “I chose Iowa because of its great academics, community atmosphere and sense of team. I fell in love with the school and campus immediately and cannot wait to be a Hawkeye”
Fairfield, New Jersey
Cimilluca, a forward from Fairfield, New Jersey, attends West Essex Regional High School, the same high school as current Hawkeye Natalie Cafone, where she is coached by Jill Cosse. Cimilluca has earned first team all-county and first team all-conference accolades as a sophomore and junior. Cimilluca helped lead her high school team to a state championship and sectional championship in her four years. Cimilluca was a member of the Futures Program for three years, and was a 2016 National Futures Championship selection.
Cimilluca: Why Iowa? “I chose Iowa not only because of the top tier field hockey program, but also for its strong academic background and the tremendous school pride comes with being a Hawkeye”
Deuell, a defender from Poquoson, Virginia, attends Poquoson High School, the same high school as current Hawkeye Leslie Speight, where she is coached by Darcey Chiappazzi. Deuell is a two-time first team all-conference selection. In 2015, Deuell was named first team all-region and second team all-state. Deuell was a member of the Focus Field Hockey Club for six years were she was under the direction of former Hawkeye All American Quan Nim. This year, Deuell helped her Virginia Region Team win the 2016 Futures Championship.
Deuell: Why Iowa? “I chose Iowa because of its strong academics and love for the game. The desire to improve individually and as a team is shown on and off the field. The team seems more like a family and I cannot wait to be a part of it”
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Drum, a forward from Virginia Beach, Virginia, attends Frank W. Cox High School where she is coached by Julie Swain. Drum was a second team all-state selection in 2015. She guided her high school to a state championship in 2014, and a runner-up finish in 2015. Drum was part of the back-to-back Coastal Conference Champion teams (2014 and 2015). She has played with the Tcoyo club for five years, and has also participated in USA Field Hockey Futures Program since 2014.
Drum: Why Iowa? “I am really looking forward to being a Hawkeye. From the very beginning, the kind and welcoming atmosphere at Iowa was unlike anywhere else. The academic support system and athletic resources offered are second to none.”