Wittenberg Field Hockey Coach, Players Earn Regional, National Honors

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - For the third time in her young career, Wittenberg University Field Hockey Head Coach Marianne Beshara has swept North Coast Athletic Conference and Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honors. Beshara, a 1999 graduate of Ohio University who is in only her fourth season at the helm of the Tiger field hockey program, also claimed the dual honors following the 2000 and 2002 seasons.

Beshara's regional coach of the year award was announced late Tuesday, and it came on the heels of other recent postseason awards announcements. Most notably, goalkeeper Jen Meyer, a junior from Solon, Ohio, and midfielder Blair Ufer, a junior from Ann Arbor, Mich., were named third-team All-America. It was the second straight national honor for Meyer and the first for Ufer.

Wittenberg rallied from a 1-4 start to win 10 straight games to conclude the regular season. The Tigers, who also started 0-2 in the NCAC, finished 9-3 in the conference and 13-7 overall and won the NCAC regular season and tournament championships. The latter advanced Wittenberg to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the sixth time in school history and the second year in a row.

Meyer was named first-team All-NCAC, first-team All-Great Lakes Region and third-team All-America, all for a second straight year. Meyer allowed 28 goals in just 17 games, and she spearheaded the midseason turnaround by helping a young defense post six total shutouts despite the loss of three regional all-americans from the 2002 squad that went 17-4. Ufer, the team's second-leading scorer with 23 points in 2003, earned the same honors as Meyer - first-team all-conference, first-team all-region and third-team All-America.