The University reserves the right to cancel or amend this event if federal, state, local, or university guidelines change to address developing conditions related to COVID-19.
Field Hockey Clinics
Date: Sunday, September 26, 2021
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Registration Link - Click Here
(deadline to register is Sept. 23rd)
Date: Sunday, October 24, 2021 CLINIC CANCELLED (*posted 9/16/21)
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Head Coach Meghan Dawson
Meghan Dawson prepares for her sixth season in charge of the App State field hockey program. After back-to-back trips to the MAC Tournament semifinals in 2017 and 2018, Dawson led the Mountaineers to the program's first winning season since 2003. App State's 11-9 record in 2019 was also its first season with a double-digit win total since 2003.
The Mountaineers opened the 2019 season with a 6-0 record, setting a new program best for consecutive wins to begin a season. App State notched shutouts in five of those six victories, allowing just two goals in its first six games.
Appalachian entered the MAC Tournament as the No. 6 seed, shutting out Central Michigan 2-0 in the opening round. The Mountaineers then upset the No. 3 seed for the second-straight season, battling back to register a 5-4 overtime victory over Ohio in the quarterfinals. With the victory, App State clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament semifinals for the third-straight year.
A program-best four Mountaineers earned All-MAC honors in Dawson's fifth season. Juniors Veerle Van Heertum and Annette Jarosz earned All-MAC First Team honors, while sophomore Friederike Stegen and senior Rachel Gaines earned All-MAC Second Team honors.
App State's 6-0 start also included four MAC Field Hockey Player of the Week honors. Junior Meghan Smart earned MAC Field Hockey Offensive Player of the Week accolades for the first time in her career, while Jarosz earned her second MAC Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week award in her career. Gaines also became the first Mountaineer to garner a MAC Field Hockey Player of the Week honor twice in the same season.
In 2018, Dawson led the Mountaineers to the program's first two MAC Tournament victories at the conclusion of its second year in the Mid-American Conference.
App State entered the MAC Tournament as the No. 6 seed and dominated an opening-round matchup against Central Michigan, securing the program's first MAC Tournament triumph with a 5-2 victory over the Chippewas. One day later, the Mountaineers secured a 2-0 upset victory over No. 3 seed Longwood, marking the second time in school history the Black and Gold ousted the Lancers.
Dawson's philosophy of scheduling difficult opponents continued in 2018, facing off against four ranked ACC foes -- Wake Forest, Duke, Louisville and her alma mater, North Carolina. The Mountaineers finished 2018 with a 7-14 record, which included victories over four nonconference opponents.
Multiple Mountaineers brought their game to the next level under Dawson's tutelage in 2018, including sophomores Annette Jarosz and Veerle Van Heertum. Jarosz and Van Heertum both earned All-MAC honors, while Van Heertum became the first Mountaineer since 2003 to earn a spot on the NFHCA South Region Second Team.
Off the field, Dawson's squad impressed in the classroom. The team finished the fall 2018 semester with a 3.36 GPA. Ten student-athletes were also named to the Academic All-MAC Team.
In 2017, Dawson guided her squad to an 8-11 record, their first season of at least eight wins since 2003.
After a two-year stint competing as an NCAA Division I Independent, App State joined the Mid-American Conference in 2017 as an affiliate member. Dawson and the Mountaineers were picked to finish sixth in the preseason rankings but went 3-3 in conference play to finish fourth and earn a spot in the MAC Championships.
Dawson's 2017 squad was again honored by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) as a National Academic Team recipient for posting a 3.37 GPA during the fall 2017 semester. Sixteen of Dawson's student-athletes were named to the 2017 National Academic Squad and four were awarded the prestigious Scholar of Distinction award.
All three of Dawson's captains - Taylor Cimbalist, Savanna Sheridan and Rebecca McLean - were named to the All-MAC Teams. Cimbalist and Sheridan were named to the first team, while McLean earned second-team honors.
In her first two seasons, the North Carolina product didn’t take scheduling lightly as the Black and Gold faced eight ranked opponents. Despite a 5-28 career-record on the Mountain, the Apps have exemplified significant signs of improvement. Appalachian gave Dawson her first win on Aug. 30, 2015 against Missouri State (6-4) and shut out Davidson (2-0) on Oct. 11, 2015 for the first time since 2010. That victory also marked the first time the Mountaineers had won back-to-back home games since 2010. Dawson’s first ever home win was over La Salle and came on Sept. 20, 2015, thanks to a score of 2-1.
In 2016, Dawson’s hockey squad earned multiple NFHCA Division I Academic Awards including the Zag Field Hockey Academic Team honor and 13 individual honors for achieving a cumulative 3.34 team GPA. On April 25, freshman transfer goalkeeper Rachel Gaines was one of 20 athletes selected to the U.S. Senior Indoor National Field Hockey Team to train over the summer and represent the red, white and blue at international competitions.
Dawson, a two-time national champion at North Carolina who helped lead Bucknell to the 2014 Patriot League regular-season championship as an assistant coach, was named Appalachian State University field hockey’s head coach on March 25, 2015.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Coach Dawson to the Appalachian State family,” said Director of Athletics Doug Gillin. “Meghan’s values of academic integrity, social responsibility, competitive excellence and providing a world-class experience for student-athletes align perfectly with our core values at Appalachian State. I thank the members of our search committee, chaired by associate athletics director Troy Heustess, for their hard work and the outstanding job that they did of identifying one of the best young coaches in the sport. I’m excited for the future of Mountaineer field hockey!”
Dawson came to Appalachian State from Bucknell, where she had served as an assistant coach since 2013. The Bison won 21 games in Dawson’s two seasons with the program, highlighted by a 13-6 campaign in 2014 (Bucknell’s first winning season in five years) and the program’s first-ever Patriot League outright regular-season championship.
Dawson’s coaching resume also includes stints with the USA Field Hockey Futures Program (2014-present), as head coach of two club teams (Lewisburg, Pa. Bison Field Hockey Club from 2013-15 and Chapel Hill, N.C. Carolina All-Star Field Hockey Club U16 team in 2012) and as an assistant coach at Voorhees (N.J.) Eastern Regional H.S. (2012) and with the Berlin, N.J. Spirit of USA Field Hockey Club (2012-13). Most notably, as an assistant at Eastern Regional H.S. in 2012, she helped lead her high-school alma mater to the New Jersey Group IV state championship.
Dawson is no stranger to championships as a player either, having advanced to four Final Fours and winning the 2007 and 2009 national titles as a defender at North Carolina from 2007-11. In 94 career games, including 73 starts at back, she recorded seven goals and five assists.
She was a two-time all-region performer at UNC, a 2010 all-NCAA Tournament honoree and the recipient of the Tar Heels’ prestigious Marjorie Moses Schwab Unsung Hero Award. She was also invited to participate in the 2011 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Senior Game but did not play because she was still competing for UNC.
Dawson played at North Carolina under the tutelage of head coach Karen Shelton, a member of the NFHCA and USA Field Hockey Halls of Fame.
Following her collegiate career, Dawson was a member of the United States Field Hockey Developmental Squad, competing at the highest level of field hockey in the world and earning a silver medal at the 2011 Champions Challenge.
As a standout prep player at Eastern Regional H.S., she was a two-time NFHCA all-American and New Jersey Player of the Year, a three-time all-region, all-state, all-conference, all-group and all-South Jersey performer and helped lead her squad to four-straight state championships. She also played basketball and softball, earning all-conference recognition on the hardwood.
Dawson, 29, is one of eight siblings in an ultra-athletic family. Her sister, Rachel, also played field hockey at North Carolina and was National Player of the Year in 2007. Rachel and sisters, Natalie and Sarah, who played collegiately at Iowa, were all members of the U.S. National Team. Her brother, David, played football and baseball at Monmouth and brother, Andrew, played football and baseball at Williamson Technical School.
Dawson graduated from North Carolina in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
“I’m really excited and thankful for the opportunity to be Appalachian State University field hockey’s head coach,” Dawson said. “I am thrilled to work with our student-athletes and to quickly engulf myself in the University culture and family .”
Assistant Coach Emily Dinsmore
Emily Dinsmore prepares for her fourth season as a member of head coach Meghan Dawson's coaching staff.
In 2019, Dinsmore helped lead App State to its first winning season since 2003. The Mountaineers also opened the 2019 campaign at 6-0, setting a new program best for wins to begin a season.
Dinsmore came to Appalachian after two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Stevenson University, helping lead them to a second-place finish in the Middle Atlantic Conference in 2015. That same season, the team advanced to the conference tournament championship and the ECAC Division III Mid-Atlantic Field Hockey Championship final.
She completed her master's degree in business technology management during her two-year stint at Stevenson. Working primarily with goalkeepers and defenders, Dinsmore also worked in recruiting and as an academic mentor.
A Chesapeake Beach, Md. native, Dinsmore graduated from Liberty University in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. During her time at Liberty, she lettered in both field hockey and lacrosse. In her first season of field hockey, she helped lead the defense to three shutouts as she appeared in 15 of the Flames' 17 games, making 13 starts.
On the lacrosse field, Dinsmore played in all 18 games in her first season, contributing six goals and three assists. In her second season, Dinsmore moved over to defense and recorded 17 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers.
Prior to her time at Liberty, Dinsmore started her career at Catholic University, where she played one season of field hockey. She was recruited out of Northern High School in Owings, Md., where she was a four-year letter winner in field hockey and lacrosse.
Assistant Coach Ally Mooney
Ally Mooney enters her second season as an assistant coach at Appalachian State.
In 2019, Mooney helped lead App State to its first winning season since 2003. The Mountaineers opened the 2019 campaign at 6-0, setting a new program best for wins to begin a season. Mooney's work with goalkeepers Rachel Gaines and Addie Clark also helped App State record seven shutouts in 2019, including five in the team's first six games.
Mooney joins the App State coaching staff after posting a standout career at Division II powerhouse Shippensburg University. As a senior, the former goalkeeper helped lead the Raiders to their third-straight NCAA Division II National Championship in 2018. She finished her senior campaign with seven shutouts, including one in the national championship game.
At Shippensburg, Mooney registered a 68-16 record in goal and had an incredible .816 save percentage. She recorded 24 shutouts between the posts, allowing less than a goal per game over the course of her career.
Mooney, a two-time team captain, earned multiple awards during her collegiate career. Along with three national championships, Mooney was named an NFHCA All-American in 2014 and 2016. As a freshman, she earned a spot on the Synapse Sports All-Rookie Team after allowing just 0.76 goals per game.
Off the field, Mooney stayed involved in the game by serving as a coach for four different organizations. In spring 2017 and 2018, she worked as an assistant coach for the USA Field Hockey Futures Program. She also worked specifically with goalkeepers for Core Hockey and X-Calibur Field Hockey Club.
A native of Spring City, Pa., Mooney earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in coaching in December.
For program information, contact the Camp Director, Head Coach Meghan Dawson, by email at email@example.com