Former Appalachian State University field hockey goalkeeper Sarah Anderson and four-year forward from Wake Forest University Taylor Rhea has been added to the Appalachian field hockey coaching staff as assistant coaches, head coach Brandi Alexander-Kist announced Tuesday.
Anderson joins the coaching staff after starting her last two seasons in the net for the Mountaineers. Anderson graduated from Appalachian December 2013 as stuck around as a volunteer assistant coach during the winter and spring training season working one on one with the goalkeepers and helping the defense.
“Sarah has contributed so much to our program as a player, and now we welcome her contributions as a coach,” Kist said. “I am thrilled to have her return on our coaching staff and to keep her enthusiasm for our sport and passion for our university around. Sarah will work primarily with our goal keepers and defense.”
After sitting out her true freshman season, Anderson began to flourish as the Mountaineers goalie, on and off the field. In 2010 and 2011, she was the reserve goalkeeper, playing 12 games and saving a total of 24 shots. In her junior season, Anderson started all 18 matches. She posted 140 saves on the season for a .673 save percentage and was named NorPac East Defensive Player of the Week for two-straight weeks. She posted her previous career high in saves against Wake Forest and earned her first career shutout on Oct. 14, 2012 against Ball State.
During Anderson’s senior season, she tallied a career high in saves, surpassing her previous career high by 32. She finished her career seventh on the Appalachian all-time saves list with 336 saves and ninth on the single season all-time saves list. She was a four-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association academic squad honoree for her excellence in the classroom.
Anderson has also trained with the U.S. Field Hockey High Performance Program for two years.
Rhea brings a different element to the Mountaineers coaching squad proving to be a force offensively at Wake Forest and Alexander-Kist is very excited about it.
“I am very excited to have Taylor join our staff,” Kist said. “With her experience playing at a high level and specifically her offensive mindset, I am looking forward to having work with our attack. She has great energy and love for the game and will compliment our program well as we transition to playing on our new field.”
Rhea ended a decorated career with the 15th-ranked Demon Deacons in 2013, earning a spot on the 2013 All-South Region Second Team and was a participant at the 2013 NFHCA Division I senior game.
She was named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week after recording a hat trick against Boston College and guided her team to the NCAA tournament. She also ranks in the top-five in the ACC in goals scored, goals per game and points per game.
During her senior year, Rhea tallied all career highs with 38 total points, comprising of 17 goals and four assists. She also showed her clutch ability scoring five game-winning goals, while carrying a .315 shot percentage on 54 shots. Rhea scored one of Wake Forest’s two goals in the NCAA tournament game against North Carolina.
She finished her career at Wake Forest with 32 goals, eight assists and 72 total points. She had a .244 shot percentage but showed her accuracy with 93 shots on goal.