ALBANY, N.Y. – Dana Bozek, a 2016 Lakeland graduate, was named America East Midfielder of the Year in field hockey as a senior at SUNY Albany.
Bozek, who was also tabbed All-Conference First Team (East Division) started all 19 games for Albany (11-8) and led the team with a career-high 34 points and 14 goals. Those numbers placed her third in both categories in the America East Conference.
She earned All-Conference honors in each of her four years at Albany, also garnering first team honors in 2017 and 2018 and All-Rookie Team accolades in 2016.
In addition, she was named All-Northeast Region First Team her junior year and to the All-Northeast Region Second Team as a sophomore.
“To end my senior year with the highest honor for my position in the conference was really special,” said Bozek, who is the second Great Dane to be named Midfielder of the Year and first since All-American Paula Heuser in 2016. “I was shocked when I found out because America East had so many strong players in the midfield I can remember going up against. Although I would trade that award any day for a conference championship this year.”
The success Bozek has enjoyed at Albany comes off her legendary career at Lakeland, where she won five state titles, was named National Player of the Year, earned All-American honors three times, including first team in 2014 and 2015, along with being a standout lacrosse player, for three years.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Dana play the game these last four years at UAlbany,” said Lakeland coach Sharon Sarsen. “She continued to dominate at the Division 1 level and I couldn’t be prouder. I was thrilled to learn Dana’s play had earned such great recognition. She has always been a special player and someone we are proud to say is a Lakeland alumni.”
Bozek played at Albany the past two seasons with two other Lakeland graduates: sophomores Kelsey McCrudden, who led Albany with 14 assists and was also named to the East Division All-Conference First Team, and Julia Papanicolaou.
“Getting to play with prior high-school teammates has always been a special part of playing at Albany,” Bozek said. “Especially coming from such a successful program, Kelsey and Julia both know what it takes to win and be a competitor. I always loved being on the same team as them when we scrimmaged because I knew they would do anything to win.”
Bozek said that there are many aspects of collegiate sports she will miss.
“For starters, getting to play in such a competitive environment everyday and pushing yourself to be better,” Bozek said. “However, I will miss most the team camaraderie and atmosphere that is so important to the team’s success. Working every day towards a common goal with your best friends is an experience that collegiate athletes are lucky to have. I will especially miss our team competition days every practice before a game, these days are unique and so special to the Albany field-hockey team."