CHAPEL HILL- The Tar Heel field hockey team proved the university’s foremost devotion to academics as they were honored with a 2012 National Academic Team Award Monday, given by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.

Head Coach Karen Shelton reiterates the importance of education for her student-athletes.

“Our kids are here to get a great education,” says Shelton. “Of course I think that their field hockey participation adds to that education, but they’re here for a wonderful degree.”

The awards are received by Division I programs that accomplish at least a 3.0 grand point average throughout the fall 2012 semester. 63 total teams obtained the award, including all six ACC teams.

North Carolina reached a GPA of 3.2 this past fall season. The Tar Heels were conference champions for the second straight year and finished 23-2 as runner-up of the NCAA Championships.

Shelton says she thinks her team is handling the priority of academics well.

“They’re going about the whole process in the correct manner,” says Shelton. We couldn’t be prouder of our kids and had we won the national championship it would have been the icing on the cake. We are doing things the right way and I couldn’t feel better about it.”

The team’s collective GPA recorded the top academic semester in program history and nine players received Dean’s List honors. These players include Emma BozekCasey Di NardoEmily KoleMeghan LyonsMarta MalmbergKatie PlylerTyler PowellLoren Shealy, and Emily Wold.