NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Reigning Atlantic 10 Conference Field Hockey Champion Massachusetts has been to picked to repeat by the league’s head coaches as the A-10 released its 2013 preseason poll on Thursday.
UMass garnered 63 total points including seven first-place votes. Richmond received one first-place nod and a total of 57 points to finish behind the Minutewomen. VCU was slotted third with 46 points, while Lock Haven (35 pts.) and La Salle (30 pts.) were slated in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Saint Joseph’s received 28 points to finish sixth, Saint Francis (16 pts.) was seventh and Saint Louis (13 pts.) was eighth. SFU joined the Atlantic 10 in July as an affiliate member for field hockey only. Lock Haven has been an affiliate member since 2010.
Last season, senior defender Thando Zono recorded three goals, including the game-winning tally, to send No. 2 seed and then No. 19 nationally ranked UMass to its 13th Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship in program history with a 5-0 win over No. 1 seed and No. 16 nationally ranked Richmond. Massachusetts then topped Rider in an NCAA Play-In game before falling to No. 5 Syracuse in the opening round of the tournament.
2012 A-10 Coach of the Year Carla Tagliente returns a pair of All-A-10 members from a season ago, including league’s Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team selection Lauren Allymohamed. Goalkeeper Sam Carlino is back in the mix for UMass after making 100 stops in her freshman campaign in 2012. For her efforts Carlino was an All Atlantic 10 Second-Team choice as well as an All-Rookie team member.
Richmond returns five All A-10 picks including first-team midfielders Rebecca Barry and Chelsea Davis, defender Amy Cooke and goalkeeper Anna Zarkoski, who led the league with a 1.39 goals-against average last season. Reigning A-10 Rookie of the Year Taylor Deitrick is back in the mix for the Spiders after scoring 12 goals in 21 games a season ago.
Last fall, VCU posted the third-biggest turnaround in the country with a 13-6 record and a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. First-year head coach Laura Baker welcomes back senior defender Stephanie DeMasi who earned Second-Team all-league laurels last season, while All-Rookie Team midfielder Kendall Farino is back in the fold as well.
The top four teams from the regular season standings advance to the 2013 Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Championship which will be held on November 8-9 at the Richard F. Garber Field in Amherst, Mass.
2013 Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Preseason Poll Team (First-place votes)Total
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