The eighth annual event was a resounding success
The schedule will be the first featuring Syracuse as an ACC member
Sutton comes to Wake Forest from Old Dominion
Initiative meant to introduce youth to the game of field hockey
Head coach Jennifer Averill is in her 21st year with the program
Jennifer Averill and Anna Kozniuk discuss the Deacs 2-1 win over Michigan.
Field Hockey Wake Forest vs. Virginia 10/20
Jennifer Averill is Wake Forest Field Hockey.
Entering her 21st season at Wake Forest, Averill owns an impressive record of 290-127-3 (.694) as a Demon Deacon and an overall career record of 310-159-6 (.659) in 23 years. She has built the Wake Forest program, almost from scratch, into a perennial national power. The ACC recognized Averill's continual improvement with her sixth Coach of the Year honor following the 2008 season.
Perhaps the most prestigious honor Averill has received came in January of 2010 when she was inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Here are just a few more of the reasons why Averill continues to earn respect on the national and global field hockey stage:
Prior to Averill's arrival in Winston-Salem, Wake Forest had never played in an NCAA postseason game. The Deacons enjoyed 12 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1999-2010.
In 2008, Wake Forest appeared in the NCAA Final Four for the ninth consecutive season.
Wake Forest won back-to-back-to-back NCAA championships in 2002, 2003 and 2004. No other women's athletic team at Wake Forest has won an NCAA title of any kind.
The Deacons captured championships in the nation's strongest conference, the ACC, in 2002, 2003 and 2006.
Averill has coached two National Players of the Year - Kelly Doton in 2003 and Kelly Dostal in 2004. Dostal, in fact, was named the ACC Female Athlete of the Year for all sports.
Averill's players have earned first team All-American honors 16 times and first team All-ACC honors 48 times. She has coached the ACC Player of the Year four times.
In 2008, two of Averill's former athletes, Lauren Crandall and Kelly Doton, represented the U.S. at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Averill's coaching goes far beyond the playing field. She expects her players to make good grades, graduate on time and to represent the campus and community.
Perhaps more importantly, she cares about her players after they leave Wake Forest. Several former players have returned to work as assistant or volunteer assistant coaches. Each year Deacon field hockey alums flock back to Kentner Stadium for as many games as they can attend.
The 2006 season may have been Averill's most difficult one on an emotional level. One of her former players, Maria Whitehead, spent much of the fall battling cancer. In a demonstration of support for her friend and former player, Averill shaved her head.
Tragically, just before Wake Forest embarked on the ACC Tournament, Whitehead lost her battle with cancer.
Playing with heavy hearts, the Deacons remarkably battled their way to an ACC Tournament championship, beating eventual national champion Maryland in the finals. The Deacons went on to advance to the national semifinals for the seventh straight season, beat Duke in the semifinals, and advanced to the national title game for the fourth time in five years.
It was during the 2006 NCAA Tournament that Averill earned her 200th career victory, in the first round against American. It was also during the NCAA Tournament that Averill took an errant shot off her forehead, opening up a huge gash. She had the cut sewn up on the sidelines.
The Deacons fell in the finals to Maryland to finish the 2006 season with a 22-6 record. Averill was named ACC Coach of the Year for her efforts.
Behind first team All-Americans Michelle Kasold and Lauren Crandall, Wake Forest led the nation in scoring average, points per game, goals per game, assists per game, shutouts per game and scoring margin.
In 2005, Wake Forest put together an undefeated regular season that included nine shutouts and a regular season win over eventual national champion Maryland. In the postseason, the Deacons fell to Maryland in the ACC Tournament, then lost to Duke in the national semifinals, ending their streak of consecutive NCAA championships at three.
Averill was the choice for ACC Coach of the Year after the Deacons won the league's regular season crown.
Wake Forest made it three national championships in a row by winning the title in 2004. Wake Forest swept through the semifinal and championship games, defeating Maryland, 3-0 and Duke, 3-0 to clinch the title.
The Deacons went 20-3 behind National Player of the Year Kelly Dostal and three other first team All-Americans. Averill was once again named National Coach of the Year in 2004.
The 2003 season was a dominating one for Wake Forest. Ranked No. 1 the entire season, the Deacons began the year 12-0, extending their winning streak to a remarkable 31 games. Wake Forest out-shot opponents 491-113 and outscored foes 96-13 to lead the nation in scoring defense, winning percentage and victory margin.
The Deacons' only loss of 2003 was a regular season setback to Duke. Wake Forest avenged the loss to the Blue Devils by beating them twice on the biggest of stages - in the finals of the ACC and NCAA championships.
Averill was named ACC Coach of the Year, Division I South Region Coach of the Year and the National Coach of the Year in 2003.
Wake Forest field hockey began in 1971, but it wasn't until 1992 that it made a commitment to the program.
Three significant things happened in 1992 that put Wake Forest on the long road to national prominence in field hockey. First, Wake Forest left the Deep South Association to join competition in the ACC. Secondly, it added scholarships and committed money for facilities.
Thirdly, and most importantly, Averill took over the head coaching reigns in 1992.
Averill's impact on the program was immediate. Wake Forest made its debut in the national rankings, at No. 20, in 1994. The Deacons have been a fixture in the top 25 ever since. Wake gained its first No. 1 national ranking in 2001, ended the 2002 season at No. 1 and spent the entire 2003 season atop the national polls.
Behind her tireless recruiting efforts, Averill began to bring in some of the nation's top young talent. The program turned the corner in 1999 when it advanced to the ACC Tournament finals for the first time and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. Averill was named ACC Coach of the Year and NFHCA South Regional Coach of the Year.
In 2000, Wake Forest began its streak of nine consecutive national semifinal appearances. Since that time, no school has enjoyed more consistent success in field hockey.
Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser, upon reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003, only half-jokingly said: "We are just trying to build a basketball program that the field hockey program can be proud of."
Averill was a highly-successful player before she embarked on her coaching career. She was a four-time All-American at Northwestern. As a senior in 1987, she earned the prestigious Honda Broderick Award as the nation's best field hockey player.
Also in 1987, Averill won the Big Ten's Medal of Honor for academic excellence and the Jesse Owens Award as the conference's best athlete. In 1989, Averill was honored by Northwestern as the university's Female Athlete of the Decade for the 1980s.
Averill competed in two Final Fours as a Wildcat and from 1983 to 1987 and played on the U.S. National Team. She was inducted into the Northwestern Hall of Fame in September of 1996.
Averill began her coaching career with a short tenure as an assistant at Dartmouth before accepting the head coaching job at Bucknell. She remained with the Bison until 1991, when she led them to their first .500 season in seven years and was named Patriot League Coach of the Year.
Averill remains active in field hockey outside of Wake Forest, as both a coach and player. She is a member of the reserve assistant staff for the United States National Team as well as the Under-23 and Under-16 teams. From 2000 to 2002, she played for Southern Charm, the United Summer League champions.
Averill and partner, Karen, have a son, Nicolas Simon Averill, who is six and a daughter, Gianna, who is four.