Field Hockey Picked To Finish Third In NEC Preseason Poll

HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University field hockey team was picked to finish third, receiving one first-place vote, in the 2010 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Bobcats finished last season 5-3 in the NEC, clinching the third seed in the 2009 NEC Tournament. The Bobcats open the 2010 season on Sunday, Aug. 29 at Lehigh at 1 p.m. in Bethehem, Pa. before hosting Boston College on Friday, Sept. 3 at 4 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Complex in Hamden, Conn. Boston College finished the 2009 season ranked ninth nationally.

"The NEC Preseason Coaches Poll is the first indicator that the season is upon us," Quinnipiac Head Coach Becca Kohli said. "I think this year's poll is incredibly accurate coming off of last season and I think the two schools that are to be a force this year are indeed Rider and Monmouth. We look forward to taking a young squad with 11 freshmen to the NEC Tournament and we will work to get ready to make a run for the NEC Championship."

Rider was picked to finish first by the NEC coaches, collecting six first-place votes. Monmouth, who knocked Rider out of the 2009 NEC Tournament, was picked to finish second with one first-place vote. The Bobcats slid into third place, with the remaining first-place vote, followed by Bryant, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis (Pa.), Siena and Robert Morris.

Last season, Quinnipiac finished the year at 6-12 overall and 5-3 in the Northeast Conference, with wins in four of their final six games to clinch the third seed in the NEC Tournament. The Bobcats return a solid core of All-Northeast Conference players in captains Katie Van Nostrand (Derry, N.H.) and Bonnie Shea (Walpole, Mass.) as well as MacKenzie Liptak (Schuylerville, N.Y.) and Megan McCreedy (White River, South Africa). In addition, junior Amanda DeLouise (Cheshire, Conn.) has earned the starting spot in the cage for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats play eight games in September, with their home-opener against Boston College serving as one of three on their home turf. Other home tilts include Colgate on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. and Lafayette on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. Non-conference opponents for September include Yale at Johnson Field in New Haven, Conn. on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 1 p.m., Northeastern at Sweeney Field in Boston, Mass. on Friday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. and Maine on Friday, Sept. 24 in Orono, Me. at 7 p.m. In addition, the Bobcats will also play a pair of games on the University of Michigan's Phyllis Ocker Field in Ann Arbor, Mich. against Albany on Friday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m. and Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 12 p.m.

"The 2010 schedule was designed to put us in an excellent position to get a talented group of incoming freshman good experience against great competition," Kohli said. "We have a few schools on our non-conference schedule that we have never played before in Lehigh, Albany and Michigan. We will also face Maine, Colgate and Brown after a long hiatus. We look forward to our yearly matches with Northeastern, Lafayette, Boston College and Yale as we prepare to make another run for the NEC Championship. I tried to change up the schedule a bit and will look to my senior class to be the motivation that leads us back to the NEC Championship. To get to the championship portion of the season we will need to fare well against conference foe Rider, rising star Monmouth and up-and-coming Bryant."

Quinnipiac opens October with a non-conference match-up against Brown at home on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. The Bobcats then open Northeast Conference play on Sunday, Oct. 10 at Sacred Heart at 12 p.m. Quinnipiac will then host Rider on Friday, Oct. 15 at 3:30 p.m. and Monmouth on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. After a trip to Loretto, Pa. to play Saint Francis (Pa.) at DeGol field on Friday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m., Quinnipiac returns home on Sunday, Oct. 24 to host Robert Morris at 1 p.m. They then head back out onto the road on Friday, Oct. 29 against Bryant at 7 p.m. before closing their regular season against Siena on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.