Natalie Konerth named Patriot League Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Field hockey athlete with 4.0 GPA wins prestigious award
2016 AU grad Natalie Konerth was selected as the Corvias Patriot League Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year on July 18. She is the third AU student-athlete to earn the title since AU joined the Patriot League in 2001.
“It means a lot to me that I get to represent AU and, out of all the Patriot League schools, field hockey,” Konerth said. “There’s only been one other field hockey athlete to win. We’re often a smaller sport, so it’s awesome to bring this recognition to AU and field hockey both.”
Konerth is recognized as one of the top players in AU field hockey history. She finished her collegiate athletic career ranked at 16th in the AU record books with 73 points earned in her four years. Konerth was a 2016 First Team Mid-Atlantic Region and 2015 Second Team Mid-Atlantic Region selection, and she was a two-time unanimous choice for All-Patriot League First Team, according to a press release on auathletics.com.
The recipient of the award is chosen by a vote conducted by the athletic communication staffs from each of the schools in the PL. The award has been presented to one male and one female student-athlete each year since the 1991-92 academic year, according to the Patriot League.
“From the first day that Natalie arrived on campus, we knew she would create a special legacy,” head coach Steve Jennings said in the press release. “Her journey at AU has left us all awestruck with the sheer force of will devoted towards a life of excellence.”
This life of excellence can be seen in her athletic and academic successes alike. Along with her on-field accolades, Konerth was a two-time Scholar-Athlete of the Year for field hockey and graduated from AU in December 2016 with a 4.00 GPA in applied mathematics.
“[Natalie] has been a leader on the field, in the classroom and in the community since the day she stepped on campus,” said Billy Walker, American University’s director of athletics and recreation, in the release. “Being named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year simply validates what we’ve known about Natalie all along – she is truly remarkable.”
Konerth was second in the Patriot League during her senior season with 25 points and 12 goals, helping the team achieve its 10th Patriot League title.
While playing forward as an Eagle, some of her highlights include scoring the game-winning goal against Holy Cross during the Patriot League tournament semifinal, securing the Eagles a spot in the championship game, and scoring the game-winning goal against Kent State in the NCAA Play-In Game with 2:15 left, allowing the Eagles to advance onto the NCAA First Round for the ninth time in program history.
“What I loved most about receiving this award was the catching up that it led me to do,” Konerth said. “I was in touch with my high school field hockey coach through it.”
The Eagles will start up their 2017 field hockey season on the road against the University of Richmond on Aug. 25.