Marshfield, Mass. – With two first place votes, and 14 total points, New England College earns the top spot in the NECC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll, as they head into their first season in the league. New England will be led by second-year head coach Carly Sweeney, who led the Pilgrims to a 6-11 record in their final season in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC). New England returns eight starters from a season ago, including senior forward Brittany Tierney (Ottowa, Ontario), who led the team with 15 goals, six assists and 36 points, and was a 2017 First Team All-Conference performer in the NAC.
Landing in second is defending NECC Champions, Elms College, who received one first place vote, and finished with 12 points. The Blazers are led by third-year head coach, Anika Goodhue, who returns eight starters, including the scorers of all 24 Blazer goals netted in 2017. Among the returners are 2017 All-NECC selections, Madison Messier (Warren, Mass.), who finished with eight goals and two assists, and Madison Gabel (Agawam, Mass.), who added three goals and five assists.
Becker College claimed the final first place vote, finishing in third, with 10 total points. Second-year head coach Meighan Allison leads a team that returns six starters, among them junior midfielder Amy Cooper (Monument, Colo.) who was the 2017 NECC Player of the Year, and first team All-NECC selection. Despite being hampered by an injury, Cooper netted four goals and two assists a year ago.
Rounding out the polls is Dean College, with four points. Dean is restarting its field hockey program, and will return to the field for the first time since 1992. Head coach Lisa Cropper has been tasked with building the program, and will lead a young group of newcomers in 2018.
2018 NECC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll
- New England- 14 (2)
- Elms – 12 (1)
- Becker – 10 (1)
- Dean – 4