NAC Announces Field Hockey Preseason Rankings

NAC Announces Field Hockey Preseason Rankings

WHITINGHAM, VT – The 2013 NAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll has been released and Thomas College has been chosen to finish in a tie for sixth place, according to a vote by the conference coaches.

The Terriers had their strongest season in the Coach Thebarge era with a 7-10 (4-5 NAC) record, advancing to the conference quarterfinals.

Thomas will kick off the 2013 campaign on Saturday, Aug. 31 on the road travelling to Nichols College.

NAC RELEASE

Defending champion Castleton earned seven first-place votes and has been chosen as the preseason favorite to win the North Atlantic Conference Field Hockey title in a vote conducted by the league's coaches. The Spartans, who have lost just one game during regular season conference play over the past two seasons, return ten seniors from last year's title winner.

Rachel Preusser returns to lead the Spartan offense after earning NAC All Conference First Team honors a season ago. Preusser ranked second among her peers in goals (26), assists (11) and points (63) last season. Fellow first-teamer Shannon Burns returns to lead the Spartan defense.

Husson garnered a pair of first-place votes and was picked to finish second after falling to the Spartans in the championship last season. The Eagles have won three of the past four NAC titles and will rely heavily upon eight returning starters this season. Sabrina Vaillancourt and Mariah Arno each earned first-team all-conference honors last season and will lead the Eagle offense once again. Reigning NAC Defensive Player of the Year Annika Durrell, and Rookie of the Year Maicee Gustin return to lead the Husson defense.

University of Maine at Farmington, St. Joseph's College, and New England College rounded out the top five in the poll. Lasell earned the final first place vote and finished eighth overall.

The season gets underway Friday, August 30 with conference action beginning September 21.

2013 Field Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

1.

Castleton

96 (7)

2.

Husson

91 (2)

3.

UMaine-Farmington

72

T-4.

St. Joseph's (Me.)

58

T-4.

New England College

58

T-6.

Simmons

49

T-6.

Thomas

49

8.

Lasell

34 (1)

9.

Colby-Sawyer

25

10.

Rivier

18

 

Lasell College (Newton, Mass.), Rivier College (Manchester, N.H.), St. Joseph's College (Me.) and Simmons College (Boston, Mass.) compete in the North Atlantic Conference as associate members in Field Hockey.