June 19, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three University of Iowa field hockey student-athletes -- Natalie Cafone, Dani Hemeon and Isabella Licciardello -- have been selected to compete at the USA Field Hockey U21 Women's National Championship, June 20-25, in Norfolk, Va. Competitors at this event will vie for spots at the Junior National Team Camp that will send a team to the Women's Junior World Cup in Germany, July 27-Aug. 4.
In addition, two incoming Hawkeyes -- Chandler Ackers and Alexandra Pecora -- have been selected to compete in the National Futures Elite Championships in Virginia Beach, Va., on June 20-26.
Cafone, a Fairfield, N.J., native saw action in 20 contests, with seven starts, during her freshman campaign in 2012. She registered 17 points via eight goals and an assist and ranked third on the team in goals. Cafone, the 2011 New Jersey State Player of the Year, led all Hawkeye freshmen in points, goals and assists and earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors Oct. 23.
Licciardello, who hails from Fredericksburg, Va., appeared in two games as a freshman last season. She is a six-time USA Futures Program participant, a five-time National Futures Championship participant and a three-time Future Elite participant.
Hemeon, a 2012 Academic All-Big Ten honoree, started all 21 contests as a sophomore, tallying team-highs in points (24) and goals (11). The 2012-13 USA U21 Junior National Squad member ranked 10th in the Big Ten in goals. The Gilroy, Calif., native was selected to the 2012 US National Team Development Squad.
Ackers, a White Haven, Pa., native, led Crestwood High School to a conference, district, and state championship in 2012. She garnered NFHCA High School Regional All-America honors and was named the 2012 Times Leader Player of the Year and Citizens Voice MVP. Ackers was a two-time first team all-state and a two-time Futures Elite selection, while also being a three-time Junior Olympian. Ackers was also a member of the 2011 USA U17 National team.
Pecora, a goalkeeper from Marlton, N.J., played high school field hockey for Bishop Eustace Prep School, where she led the Crusaders to New Jersey state championships in 2010 and 2012 and conference championships in 2010 and 2011. Pecora served as team captain in 2012, and she garnered first team all-conference goalkeeper and All-South Jersey honors three times and was an all-state selection twice. Pecora is competing in her fourth Futures Championship.