UNE Named CCC Field Hockey Favorite

UNE Named CCC Field Hockey Favorite

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The University of New England will try to continue its streak of four straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Field Hockey Tournament Championships this season and comes into the year as the preseason favorite.

The Nor'easters, which went 11-1 in conference (18-5 overall) in 2017, earned 47 points in this year's poll, including five of a possible seven first place votes cast by the seven CCC field hockey head coaches.

In 2017, UNE earned the top seed in the CCC Tournament for the fifth year in a row and captured its fourth straight league title with a 2-1 win over Endicott in the Championship. It advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row, earning a 2-1 win and against Saint Joseph's (Maine) before falling to Middlebury, 5-0.

The Gulls, which also had an 11-1 conference (17-4 overall) record landed in the second slot in the year's poll with 44 points and the remaining two first place votes. They have made it to the CCC Tournament Championship in three of the past four years.

Salve Regina earned 31 points in this year's voting to earn the No. 3 spot on this year's ledger, followed by Western New England, which earned 25 points.

Roger Williams (22 points), Nichols (15), and Gordon (12) rounded out the poll in that order.

The first CCC teams in action take the field on Friday, Aug. 31 with three teams competing against non-conference foes. League play begins on Tuesday, Sept. 11 with a Nichols and Salve Regina matchup. The remaining CCC teams will start conference play later in the week. This year's postseason will feature an expanded tournament field as five teams will qualify for the CCC Championship Tournament. There will be one quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday, Oct. 30 between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds. The semifinal round will take place on Thursday, Nov. 1 and the tournament will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 3 with the championship match. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the conference's automatic qualifier in to the 2018 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2018 CCC field hockey schedule.

 

2018 CCC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. University of New England 47 (5)
2. Endicott 44 (2)
3. Salve Regina 31
4. Western New England 25
5. Roger Williams 22
6. Nichols 15
7. Gordon 12

 

2018 CCC Field Hockey Previews

Contributed by each school's sports information department.

1. University of New England

The University of New England and sixth-year head coach Danielle Collins get seven starters back from a squad that captured the program's fourth straight CCC title in 2017. Three of that group have All-Conference accolades to their credit, led by senior defender Kersey Boulay (Liberty, Maine), who is a three-time First Team selection and reigning CCC Defensive Player of the Year. Senior defender Marge Gardiner (East Northport, N.Y.) now has a pair of First Team nods after last season, and sophomore goalkeeper Liz Sargent (South Burlington, Vt.) received Second Team status during her rookie campaign.

  Kersey Boulay, UNE

2. Endicott

The Endicott field hockey team returns to the field in 2018 looking to advance to the CCC Championship game for the fourth time in five years. The Gulls competed in the title game in 2017 where they narrowly fell to the University of New England, 2-1.

Head coach Jodi Cipolla was named CCC Coach of the Year in 2017 and returns several key student-athletes in CCC Rookie of the Year Taylor Farrin (Danvers, Mass.) and All-CCC Second Team honoree Cameron Molinare (Simsbury, Conn.). The Gulls will start the 2018 season on the road at Wheaton (Mass.) on Friday, Aug. 31.

  Taylor Farrin, EC

3. Salve Regina

Head coach Jennifer Foster returns for her 13th season at the helm of the Seahawks. Her squad has reached the CCC Semifinals in each of the past four seasons. Salve Regina will have some big shoes to fill with the graduation of the class of 2018 but has a lot of eager and talented returners as well as a solid freshman class who will have the opportunity to make immediate contributions. The team will rely on its four captains, Ashley Cody (Pawling, N.Y.), Olivia St. Jean (Goffstown, N.H.), Ally Daly (Peabody, Mass.) and Emma Gaudio (Chesire, Conn.) on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field.

   Emma Gaudio, SRU


4. Western New England

Coming off appearances in the CCC Semifinals and Championship the past two seasons, the Golden Bears will again look to challenge for the top spot in the conference this fall.

Western New England is led by Mary Clare Snediker, who begins her fourth season at the helm of the field hockey program in 2018. Despite losing her top three scorers to graduation, Snediker returns junior Jacqueline Clark (Auburn, Mass.) and sophomore Haley Daigneault (Longmeadow, Mass.), who combined for 29 points last year. Seniors Lana Felice (Pawling, N.Y.) and Leah Kelemen (Bartlett, N.H.) will also play key roles for the Golden Bears.

Western New England hosts Wheaton College in its 2018 opener on Sunday, Sept. 2. The Golden Bears then head out on the road for their next four contests, including the CCC opener at the University of New England on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

  Jacqueline ClarkWNE

5. Roger Williams

The Roger Williams University field hockey team is making its way towards its sixth season as a varsity program. Meaghan Blais is starting her second season as head coach and looking to take her team back to the CCC Tournament for the second time in program history. During the 2017 season, the Hawks finished one win better than 2016 while placing one student-athlete on the All-CCC Team. This year's team is looking to continue its stride for the upcoming season, as the Hawks return two of their five leading scorers from 2017. Junior Sydney McCarthy (Little Falls, N.Y.) comes back for RWU after leading the team last season with 14 points and six goals.

  Sydney McCarthy, RWU

6. Nichols

The Nichols College field hockey program opened camp with a trip to Ireland, where the Bison scrimmaged three Irish club teams to help gear up for the 2018 campaign. Second-year head coach Jenn Townsend returns three of her top four scorers from last season, including junior Erin Kelley (Dighton, Mass.) (5-7-12), sophomore Carlee Tolley (Chatham, Mass.) (6-2-14), and senior Courteney White (Orange, Mass.) (4-5-13). Senior Maggie Noelk (Georgetown, Mass.) (seven defensive saves in 2017) and junior MacKenzie McDonald (Pembroke, Mass.) patrol the defense while junior Brooke Misbach (Guilford, Conn.) returns in goal.

 
Courteney White, NC

7. Gordon

Gordon returns five of its six top goal scorers from last year's team. All-CCC Second Team defender Briana Kowolenko (Brooklyn, Conn.) comes back to shore up the back line after finishing the season tied for the most defensive saves in NCAA Division III with 12. Junior Sabrina Jandreau (Winslow, Maine) returns after scoring five goals and handing out four assists last season. Junior Kieran Thompson (Berwyn, Pa.) was ranked second on the team in assists with five and tied for third in goals with three. Junior goalkeeper Julia Altman (Hopkinton, Mass.) returns in the net after finishing the season second in the CCC in saves with 154.

The Fighting Scots open the season on the road Aug. 31 against Salem State. They play four out of their next five games at home. Two of those games come against Saint Joseph's College of Maine and MIT which both qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season. Gordon opens CCC play on the road at Endicott Sept. 13. The Fighting Scots will host Western New England for their Homecoming game Sept. 29.

 
Briana Kowolenko, GC

 

ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE

The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.

 

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