Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bloomsburg University Field Hockey Ranked Eighth In Preseason NFHCA Division II Poll

CHANDLER, Ariz. - The Bloomsburg University women's field hockey team is ranked eighth according to the preseason Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II coaches poll. The Huskies garnered 52 total points in the initial rankings of the season.

Defending national champion, Shippensburg, claimed the top spot in the poll after receiving 14 of the 23 first-place votes and 218 total points. East Stroudsburg and Millersville occupy spots two and three while Saint Anselm came in fourth. LIU Post and Stonehill tied for the fifth spot in the rankings to round out the top five in the country.

Earlier this month, the Huskies were picked to finish fifth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) according to the league's preseason coaches poll. Bloomsburg, which has 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. The Huskies 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 their 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).

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.

The next Penn Monto/NFHCA Division II Coaches Poll will be announced on Tuesday, September 12. The poll is voted on by NFHCA member coaches, and has no bearing on selection to the 2017 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship.

Penn Monto/NFHCA Division II Coaches Poll
August 30, 2017

RankSchool (First-Place Votes)Points
1Shippensburg (14)218
2East Stroudsburg (1)156
3Millersville (3)146
4Saint Anselm (3)142
5tStonehill139
5tLIU Post139
7West Chester (2)121
8Bloomsburg52
9Merrimack42
10Adelphi30

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