UNE Unanimous Pick To Win Fourth Straight CCC Field Hockey Title

UNE Unanimous Pick To Win Fourth Straight CCC Field Hockey Title

2017 CCC Field Hockey Preseason Poll Video

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The University of New England field hockey team was picked unanimously to earn its fourth straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title as it claimed all seven first place votes in the 2017 CCC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll.

The Nor'easters earned a total of 49 points in the voting that was completed by the Conference's seven head field hockey coaches last week.

The 2016 edition of the team completed a perfect conference schedule registering a 12-0 CCC (20-4 overall) record and cruising to its third straight Tournament Championship. The Nor'easters defeated the University of Maine-Farmington in the First Round of the NCAA Championship before a narrow 2-0 defeat at the hands of NCAA Championship runner-up Tufts. The team finished ranked No. 19 in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Coaches Poll.

Endicott will be looking to return to the CCC Championship in 2017 and finished second in this year's poll with 38 points. The Gulls had made two straight championship appearances and had played in four of the last five championship games before being eliminated in the CCC Semifinals a year ago. Last season they finished 9-3 (11-9 overall) in conference and competed in the CCC Tournament as the No. 2 seed.

Western New England, the team that defeated the Gulls in the semifinals, earned the No. 3 spot on the table with 35 points. After finishing 8-4 (10-10 overall) in conference play, the Golden Bears entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed. They picked up a 3-2 win over Endicott in the CCC Semifinals to make their first-ever appearance in the CCC Championship match.

The final CCC Tournament qualifier from a year ago, Salve Regina, landed in the No. 4 spot in the poll with 27 points.

Gordon (20 points), Roger Williams (19), and Nichols (8) completed the poll in the final three spots.

Field hockey is set to start up on Thursday, Sept. 1 with four of the seven CCC teams taking on non-conference opponents. The conference slate gets underway on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The top four teams in the 2017 regular-season conference standings will qualify for the CCC Tournament, which starts with the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 1 with the winners competing for the Conference title on Saturday, Nov. 4. The winner of the tournament will be named the CCC Tournament Champion and earn the league's automatic qualifier into the 2017 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2017 CCC field hockey schedule.


2017 CCC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. University of New England 49 (7)
2. Endicott  38
3. Western New England  35
4. Salve Regina  27
5. Gordon  20
6. Roger Williams  19
7. Nichols 8


2017 CCC Field Hockey Previews

1. University of New England

The University of New England and fifth-year head coach Danielle Collins get a handful of All-Conference performers back that helped the program claim a third consecutive CCC title in 2016, after completing a 12-0 league slate. The high-powered offense will showcase 73 percent of last year's goal production, led by senior Vonde Saunders (Center Conway, N.H.) who paced the group with 22 goals and 52 points. Seniors Hannah Buckley (Leominster, Mass.) (10 assists/28 points) and Alex Staples (Alfred, Maine), and juniors Kersey Boulay (Liberty, Maine) (11 goals/25 points) and Marge Gardiner (East Northport, N.Y.), were also among the conference honorees from a year ago.  

   Vonde Saunders, UNE

2. Endicott

The Gulls return to the field, hungry for another shot at the CCC title after narrowly missing a chance to play in the championship game in 2016. Returning to lead the squad is a pair of 2016 All-CCC First Team selections in Samantha Crowley (Leicester, Mass.) and Emylee Wood (Kensington, N.H.). Crowley notched three goals and nine assists in 20 games played in the midfield, while Wood is back to anchor the defense. The senior defender is also a force on the offensive side as she recorded nine goals and two assists last season. Endicott starts the season on Saturday, Sept. 2 with a home contest against Wheaton.

  Samantha Crowley, EC

3. Western New England

All five of Western New England's All-Conference performers from last season's squad that reached the CCC championship game for the first time in program history return in 2017. Senior forward Brittany DeLima (Branchville, N.J.) headlines the list of returners following a breakout 2016 campaign in which she led the Golden Bears and ranked fourth in the CCC with 41 points.

Senior forward Allison Jackson (Mahopac, N.Y.), senior defenders Lauren Palmateer (Coxsackie, N.Y.) and Samantha Krumpholz (Florence, Mass.), and junior midfielder Emily Antinozzi (Rye, N.Y.) are also back after earning All-CCC accolades last fall, while senior goalkeeper Grace Trupe (Cardiff, Calif.) provides experience as Western New England's last line of defense.

The Golden Bears open their 2017 campaign at Wheelock on Friday, Sept. 1, before returning home to host Springfield College on Sept. 6. Conference play gets underway on Sept. 13 when Western New England takes on Salve Regina at Golden Bear Stadium.

   Brittany DeLima, WNE

4. Salve Regina

Coming off a 2016 CCC tournament appearance, head coach Jennifer Foster begins her 12th year and welcomes new assistant coach Ryley van der Velde. The coaching staff is excited to begin the 2017 season with the return of a core nucleus of 14 players from the 2016 roster. The team will look to continue the offensive strength it showed last season, while also tightening play on the defensive end of the field. The coaches will rely on three seniors to lead the team on and off the field - Amber Cody (Pawling, N.Y.), Jessie Severino (Branford, Conn.) and Brooke Tolley (Brookside, N.J.). Each of the trio was an impact player as a junior in their respective positions. Cody will lead a relatively young offensive group while Severino and Tolley will be the backbone of the defense. The team welcomes a talented freshmen class who will have the opportunity to make immediate contributions. The team will begin preseason practices next week and the early non-conference schedule will prepare them for the opening of conference play on Sept. 13.

   Amber CodySRU

5. Gordon

Gordon returns most of their starters from last year's team, including senior Emily Allcroft (Haydenville, Mass.) who led the team in goals with ten and dished out two assists. Sophomore Sabrina Jandreau (Winslow, Maine) was second in goals with six and also had two assists. Juniors Briana Kowolenko (Brooklyn, Conn.) and Rosalind Keeley (Winterport, Maine) both played over 1,100 minutes last year and will shore up the back line as the team breaks in a new goalkeeper. The Fighting Scots open the season on Sept. 1 at home against Salem State. They will open CCC play on the road against the University of New England on Sept. 13.

   Briana Kowolenko, GC

6. Roger Williams

The Roger Williams University field hockey program continues to make strides entering its fifth season as a varsity program. Two years ago, the team posted its best season to date, setting a new program record for wins as well as the team's first CCC Tournament berth in program history. Though the Hawks were not able to repeat that success last season, the team seeks to improve from last year and return back to the CCC Tournament. Meaghan Farrelly, who was the team's assistant coach for the past four years, moves into her new role as head coach and will guide RWU in 2017. In addition, the Hawks will return three of their top-five scorers from 2016, including their leading scorer in junior Lillian McNeil (Marshfield, Mass.), who led the team with 21 points on nine goals and three assists.

Lillian McNeil, RWU

7. Nichols

The Nichols College field hockey team begins its first season under head coach Jenn Townsend looking to compete for a playoff berth after missing out the past three seasons. Sophomore Erin Kelley (Dighton, Mass.) led the Bison in goals (five) and points (13) last season and is joined up front by junior Courteney White (Orange, Mass.), who tallied eight points (2-3-7) during her second season in Dudley. Sophomore MacKenzie McDonald (Pembroke, Mass.) will help the midfielders while sophomore Brooke Misbach (Guilford, Conn.) returns in goal after appearing in 17 games last season.

Brianna Kilborn, NC


Season previews contributed by each school's sports information department.



The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and four 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 will administer championships in 18 intercollegiate sports starting in the 2017-18 academic year.


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