Rowan U’s Kristiina Castagnola, ’22 Field Hockey Player of the Year, to be honored by PSWA
Rowan University standout Kristiina Castagnola was named the 2022 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year, putting a finishing touch on a long list of accomplishments that have solidified her status as one of the most decorated student-athletes in school history. And by reaching the pinnacle as the top player in NCAA Division III, Castagnola has earned a Special Achievement award from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association.
She became the first female athlete in Rowan history to win the nation’s top player award, and just the second Prof athlete ever to earn their sport’s top honor. The three-time All-American was the catalyst for third-ranked Rowan, which went 21-2, made its second straight appearance in the NCAA semifinals and won back-to-back conference championships.
Often the focus of the opponent’s game plan, Castagnola totaled a career-best 52 points in her senior season, with 21 goals and 10 assists, and six game-winning goals. The team co-captain was chosen the NFHCA Region IV Player of the Year and the NJAC Midfielder of the Year for the second time each, and made her fourth appearances on the All-Region and All-NJAC squads.
The native of Voorhees, N.J., is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 66 goals and 31 assists and was undoubtedly instrumental in Rowan’s success as the Profs went 76-11, with three NCAA semifinal berths and three NJAC titles in her four years.“
The pride I have for Rowan and for the field hockey program is just oozing out of me,” says Castagnola. “Over my time here, I’ve learned how fun it can be when you’re with the people you love…doing the things you love.”
She has also been named one of 11 finalists for the prestigious Division III Honda Athlete of the Year Award, which will be selected in June.“
Kristiina played with so much joy, but she was an absolute competitor. She was our engine. She came to Rowan and became an impact player, growing up in front of our eyes. Now, she’s one of the top 11 athletes in Division III in any sport. I’m just so happy for her,” said Rowan head coach Michelle Andre. “She epitomizes what it means to be a student athlete and a national athlete. And she’s one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. What a representative for our University. What a legacy.”
By Marie Wozniak
(Photo, Rowan University)