Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bloomsburg University Field Hockey Tabbed Fifth In PSAC Preseason Coaches Poll

Photo courtesy of Bloomsburg University Athletics
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University field hockey team has been picked to finish fifth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) according to the preseason coaches poll released on Monday afternoon.

Shippensburg, which won the NCAA Division II National Championship last season, earned seven of the eleven first-place votes and was picked to win the conference this season. East Stroudsburg and West Chester each picked up two first-place nods and were picked to finish second and third respectively. Millersville was predicted to finish fourth.

The Huskies, who have won 18 PSAC championships and 16 national championships in the program's history, will be looking to improve on a 12-7 overall record from a year ago. Bloomsburg advanced to the conference quarterfinals in 2016 - the program's fifth appearance in the postseason in the last seven years - before suffering a 2-0 setback at Millersville ending its season.

Head coach Nikki Rhoads, who has led the Huskies to a 94-43 overall record in her first seven seasons at the helm, has 15 returners and 10 newcomers on this year's roster. Junior Tali Wehner (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg) and sophomore Ali McKay (Dover, Del./Polytech) are expected to be two of the leading returners after collecting All-PSAC honors last season. Wehner had a goal and four assists for six points to earn a spot on the Second Team while McKay enjoyed a fine rookie season after tallying six goals and two assists for 14 points to earn a Third Team nod. McKay later was named to the Synapse Sports All-Rookie Team.

Of the team's 15 returners, only three are seniors - Sally DeLuca (West Pittston, Pa./Wyoming Area) and twin sisters Geneka Mahan (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) and MacKenna Mahan (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area).

After a pair of scrimmage games, Bloomsburg will open the regular season on Saturday, September 2, with a road contest against Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Huskies will remain in Charlotte on Sunday, September 3, to play against the Wolves of Newberry College in a neutral site contest before coming home to battle Adelphi University on Tuesday, September 5 in the home opener at Steph Pettit Stadium. Start time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.

PSAC Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Shippensburg (7)
2. East Stroudsburg (2)
3. West Chester (2)
4. Millersville
5. Bloomsburg
6. Kutztown
7. IUP
8. Slippery Rock
9. Mercyhurst
10. Mansfield
11. Seton Hill

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