Field Hockey Begins Season Ranked #22 in Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll
ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine field hockey program, which received its highest ever national ranking last season as the number 10 team in the nation at one point, will begin this season ranked 22nd in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll, as announced by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association on Tuesday.
The Black Bears, selected third in the America East preseason poll, were joined in the preseason national rankings by fellow America East foes Boston University (14), New Hampshire (18) and Albany (19). America East is one of just three conferences with at least four teams ranked in the top-25, joining the ACC and Big Ten. Last season, America East finished with the third highest conference RPI in the nation, trailing only the ACC and Big East.
Maine returns 11 from its 2011 squad which finished at 16-4 overall, its best season since 1996, and 3-2 in America East action, earning a three-seed in the America East tournament. The Black Bears return four starters this season including their leading returning scorer in 2011 America East Co-Rookie of the Year Holly Stewart (North Vancouver, British Columbia). Stewart totaled 12 goals and six assists for 30 points a season ago. Stewart will be joined by 2012 captain Zoe Adkins (Coquitlam, British Columbia) and 2011 America East All-Rookie selections Annabelle Hamilton (North Vancouver, British Columbia) and Zoe Berkey (Duncan, British Columbia).
The Black Bears begin the 2012 campaign on Saturday, August 25 at 1 p.m. when they play host to #17 Boston College before battling Michigan St. in Orono on Sunday at noon.