EDISON, New Jersey – The Quinnipiac University field hockey team was chosen to finish third in the 2015 MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, as voted on by the league's seven head coaches. The 2014 MAAC Tournament participant returns 15 letterwinners from last season, including three All-MAAC Preseason selections in seniors Megan Osanitsch (Harwinton, Connecticut), Savanna Reilly (Hamden, Connecticut) and Meghan McCullough (Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania) as the Bobcats search for their second MAAC title in three seasons.
Two years removed from winning the inaugural MAAC Championship with a 1-0 victory over Robert Morris in the title game, Quinnipiac earned 32 points to slot third in the poll. The defending MAAC Champs Monmouth claimed the top spot with 48 points and six of the seven first place votes. Newcomer to the MAAC's field hockey league, Fairfield, came in second with 40 points and the final first place vote. Just three points separate Rider (27) and Sacred Heart (24) from fourth and fifth place. Bryant (15) and Siena (10) round out the remainder of the poll.
|Preseason Coaches' Poll|
Quinnipiac, Monmouth and Rider each tied for the most All-MAAC Preseason selections with three while Fairfield's Ann Burgoyne was chosen as the 2015 MAAC Field Hockey Preseason Player of the Year.
The Bobcats finished the 2014 campaign with an 8-11 overall record and 3-2 mark in MAAC play. Head coach Becca Main, now entering her 21st season manning the helm at Quinnipiac, looks to lead a healthy mix of Bobcats armed with years of quality playing experience while also helping develop a group of 16 underclassmen, including nine freshmen, this season.
|Preseason All-MAAC Team|
|Julie de Paeuw||Forward||Fairfield|
|Christine Mace||Forward||Sacred Heart|
|Carlottta Clotet Alsina||Midfield||Rider|
|Preseason Player of the Year|
Quinnipiac benefitted greatly from one of the league's stingiest defenses in 2014 and the Bobcats will welcome back senior co-captain and two-time reigning MAAC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year and NFHCA All-Mideast Region First Team selection in Megan Conaboy (Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania). The five-time career MAAC Defensive Player of the Week posted another incredible season compiling an overall record of 8-11, 2.22 GAA, 128 saves (6th in NCAA Div. I), .744 save percentage (1st MAAC; 20th NCAA) and three shutouts while playing every minute of every game in the cage for the Bobcats. Freshmen goalies Hannah Teicher (Bethesda, Maryland) and Bianca Porcaro (Easton, Connecticut) will both compete for playing time behind Conaboy this season.
Returning to the defensive core alongside Conaboy, is fellow co-captain and 2014 All-MAAC First Team selection Osanitsch. The now four-year starter blossomed in her first season in a starring role in 2014 and was the only field player to log all 1390 possible minutes of playing time last season. She also captained a back line that was crowned the NCAA Div. I statistical champion for defensive saves with 13 in 19 games last season. Joining Osanitsch is the third co-captain in senior Haley Swartz (Downingtown, Pennsylvania) who played 1359 out of a possible 1390 minutes in her junior season. Swartz also was second on the Bobcats with three defensive saves. Fellow returners along the back line include the Bobcats Nina Walker Most Improved Player junior Lily Shemo (Luzerne, Pennsylvania) as well as Allison Tanner (Short Hills, New Jersey), Lauren Belskie (Hillsborough, New Jersey), Payton Mickey (Lake Forest, Illinois) and Rachel Hamm (Collegeville, Pennsylvania).
Offensively, the Bobcats are coming off a season in which the team scored 32 goals in 19 games and were led by graduated All-MAAC First Team selection Danielle Allan (eight goals, four assists). Coach Main will need a talented group of newcomers mixed in with some skilled returners to replace the production and build the Bobcats back into an offensive force.
Headlining the group of forwards is Reilly, an All-MAAC Preseason selection and reigning All-MAAC Second Teamer. Since first earning consistent playing time in 2013, Reilly has compiled seven goals and five assists for 19 points in 38 games played over the last two seasons. The 2014 season was a strong campaign for her as she finished second on the team with six goals. A player to watch up top is sophomore Michelle Federico (Cheshire, Connecticut), the program's first NFHCA National All-American in high school, who is transitioning from playing defense in 2014 to now a forward spot for 2015. Sophomore Felicia Costanzo (Lakeland, New York) saw action in all 19 games last season, recording one assist, while a freshmen group that includes redshirt freshman Kiera Godusky (Allentown, Pennsylvania), Kyla Johns (Darien, Connecticut), Kelly Winterbottom (Burlington, Connecticut) and Kendall Nickel (Flemington, New Jersey).
Preseason All-MAAC senior McCullough, junior Angie King (South Windsor, Connecticut) and sophomore Dayna Barlow (Port Elizabeth, South Africa) will anchor the group of returning midfielders. McCullough shined with a career-high three goals in 2014 moving between the forward and midfield positions throughout the season. This All-MAAC honor is the first in McCullough's career as her all-around play, ability on the attack penalty corners, crafty stick work and deceptive passing make for all sorts of matchup problems for opponents on the field. King was a key all–around force in the defensive midfield as she posted five points (two goals, one assist) while leading the team and ranking 9th in the nation with five defensive saves. King's five defensive saves played a large role in the Bobcats earning the NCAA Div. I statistical championship with 13 defensive saves as a team. Barlow compiled five points in her rookie campaign while sitting 3rd on the team with three assists in 2014. Coach Main focused heavily on the midfield position in recruiting international players Selina Reichert (Lower Hutt, New Zealand), Theresa Kaussner (Hamburg, Germany) and Elisa Ruiz Martinez (Madrid, Spain) all of which look to make an impact in their first year.
The 2015 season is set to open on the road for three straight games as the Bobcats will take on UMass Lowell on Friday, August 28, Boston College on Sunday, August 30 and two-time defending NCAA Champion UConn on Friday, September 4.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com