COLCHESTER, Vt. – The Saint Michael’s College field hockey team was placed 11th out of 13 teams in the Northeast-10 Conference’s preseason poll. The poll, which was released by the league office today, is chosen by the head coaches of the NE-10’s member institutions.
With 40 points, the Purple Knights trail 10th-place Pace University by seven points. Merrimack College, which finished as the NCAA Tournament runner-up in 2015, sits atop the coaches’ poll with 141 points.
Saint Michael’s posted an 8-10 overall record last fall, which included a 4-8 performance in NE-10 competition. One of the Purple Knights’ biggest wins last season was a 2-1 overtime victory over Assumption College, which was ranked seventh in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) national poll at the time. The Greyhounds placed fifth in this year’s NE-10 preseason poll. Saint Michael’s knocked off American International College twice and downed Franklin Pierce University in overtime, and the Yellow Jackets stand eighth in the rankings and the Ravens ninth.
Senior Abby Dusha (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich Central School) tied for the team lead in scoring last year with eight goals and four assists, and classmate Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) tallied seven times and dished out four assists in 2015. Junior Jackie Matthews (Auburn, Mass./Auburn) put home five goals and added one helper during her sophomore season, making 13 of her 15 appearances off the bench. Sophomore Maddy Dobecki (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) added three goals and two assists while starting all 18 games on defense, including netting the overtime winner versus Assumption. Senior Abigail Bowie (Readfield, Maine/Kents Hill School) will begin her second season as the team’s starting goalkeeper after posting a 2.24 goals-against average and three shutouts as her team’s lone netminder last year.
Head coach Carla Hesler is set to begin her 18th season patrolling the sidelines for Saint Michael’s. Coach Hesler and the Purple Knights are set to begin their season by visiting Mansfield University on Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. as part of the Dr. Art DeGenaro Classic. The game is the first of two Saint Michael’s will play as part of Mansfield’s tournament. The team will match up against Shippensburg University at 11 a.m. on Sept. 4. The Raiders were seventh in the NFHCA’s final national poll last fall.