Aug. 14, 2009

Courtesy of Wake Forest

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - An unusual early morning summer fog covered the Kentner Stadium turf this morning as the Wake Forest field hockey team officially kicked off the 2009 season with the first practice.

This season the team welcomes four freshmen that got their first taste of the collegiate athletic experience this morning at the opening 8 a.m. practice.

Jillian (Jill) Anzalone, a backfield athlete out of Jackson, New Jersey, was named Varsity MVP for the 2008-09 season under the direction of head coach Lori Burns at Jackson Liberty High School. Following her final season with the Lions, Anzalone picked up her second consecutive First Team All-County honor and first First Team All-Shore honor. Watch Jill's "My Five" video.

Kaitlyn Ruhf, a goalkeeper out of Bethlehem, Pa., was named League MVP following the 2008 season for helping Freedom High School claim its second consecutive division championship. Ruhf was also tabbed The Express Times Field Hockey Player of the Year for 2008, first team all-conference and included on the Morning Call's first team for the second consecutive season. She attended the National Indoors Tournament three times and the National Field Hockey Festival twice with the X-Calibur field hockey club.Watch Kaitlyn's "My Five" video.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Rae is a versatile midfielder and forward out of Christchurch, New Zealand. Rae played in the New Zealand women's national hockey league after her standout work with Cantebury's U18 team. Rae also played and captained at the National School Girls Tournament and played in Australia with the NSW State League. Rae has represented Cantebury in cricket, soccer and field hockey at national tournaments.Watch Lizzie's "My Five" video.

Florine van den Bent, out of Hilversum in The Netherlands, is a sweeper that has been groomed in Holland's rigorous field hockey club system. The Hilversum team took division championship in 2007 and won indoor championships in 2006 and 2009. Van den Bent was promoted to a higher division in 2009 prior to joining the Deacons. Watch Florine's "My Five" video.

The Demon Deacons will open play on August 29 in Iowa City at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Additionally, preparations are already underway for the NCAA Final Four, which will be held November 20-22 at Kentner Stadium. Ticket information for the event will be released in the coming weeks.