ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The race for the NECC Field Hockey Crown looks to be a tight one as three of the four teams received a first place vote in the NECC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Elms narrowly earned top honors with two of the first place votes and 14 total points. The Blazers look to make it back to the NECC Championship game as they did a season ago. To do so, Elms will look to All-NECC First Team selection Madison Messier as she returns for her junior campaign.
Earning second in the polls with 12 total points and one first place nod was Wheelock College. The Wildcats return eleven members of their 2016 team including eight starters. Wheelock will look to team leader Katie Frade to guide their offense throughout the season.
The Blazers and the Wildcats both earned 7-3 conference records in 2016, while they split their two head to head regular season contests. Frade finished finished first in goals in conference play last season with 15, while Elms College’s Messier finished third with 11 conference goals.
The final first place vote went to Becker College who finished with nine points. The Hawks will have a young team this season as they will work without the reigning NECC Player of the Year Amy Grenier.
Bay Path University finished fourth in the polls with five total points. The Wildcats will showcase nine returners including two All-NECC First Team members, Casey Lamotte and Angela Younger.
Most NECC teams will begin their seasons with nonconference match ups on Friday, September 1st. NECC action will begin on Saturday, October 7th as Elms College travels to Bay Path University.
2017 NECC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll
- Elms - 14 (2)
- Wheelock – 12 (1)
- Becker – 9 (1)
- Bay Path– 5