GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The Wells College field hockey program was voted to finish in third place in the first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference Field Hockey Preseason Poll, the league announced Wednesday afternoon. The final rankings were determined following a poll of the league's four head coaches.
Field hockey was announced as the conference's 18th sport offering on Dec. 3, 2014, becoming the ninth women's sport sponsored by the NEAC. Wells will enter its 40th season sponsoring field hockey as a varsity sport in 2015-16 and will rejoin a conference for the first time since the 2006 season where the Express played in the Atlantic Women's Collegiate Conference.
"As a program, we are thrilled to be competing in the North Eastern Athletic Conference going forward," remarked Head Coach Kat Heterbring. "The ability to compete in a conference championship game is a great opportunity for our student-athletes. Our strong effort this preseason should help us reach our goal of participating in the postseason. We are excited to get the season underway on Tuesday."
Wells will look to improve their performances in close contests heading into the 2015 season. Last year, the Express posted 12 losses by two goals or less while competing in eight one-goal losses. Despite graduating the team's leading point scorer in Marina Fargnoli '15, Wells returns sophomore Kate Wells (Gardner, Mass.), who chipped in with five goals for 10 points (5-0=10) as a first-year player.
Defensively, goalkeepers Sydney Line (Northport, N.Y.) and Kendrick Wilson (Collins, N.Y.) return with yet another year of experience in close games. Veteran leadership on defense from senior Shelby Bourn (Sidney, N.Y.) and junior Courtney Pitcher (Verona, N.Y.) should also prove beneficial heading into the season. With that defensive corps already established, a strong group of newcomers to the team will help support the midfield and attacking lines.
Morrisville State College and Wilson College both tied for first place in the four-team league, earning 13 points each. Wells placed third with seven points to their credit while Keuka, a first-year program, earned three points. The Express have played against Morrisville State 10 times since Sept. 3, 2006 while Wells and the Phoenix have met on 28 occasions dating back to Oct. 24, 1993. Keuka had sponsored field hockey in the 1970's and 1980's but the Finger Lakes-rivals have not opposed one another in the sport.
Wells opens their season this Tuesday, Sept. 1 as they host Houghton at 3:30 p.m. at the Athletic Association Field. The Express then continue a three-game home stand against New England College on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. before welcoming Morrisville State at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. for the first-ever NEAC field hockey matchup.
2015 NEAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll Full Results
|Rank||Institution (First-Place Votes)||Total Points|
|1||Morrisville State College (2)
||Wilson College (2)||13|