Aug. 24, 2012
Field Hockey Wraps Up Preseason; Terriers 14th in NFHCA Poll
Fri. at Delaware: Live Stats | Live Video
Sun. at Rutgers: GameTracker
Ready to kick off what proves to be an exciting 2012 season, the No. 14 Boston University field hockey team will take on Delaware in its opener on Friday (Aug. 24) at Rullo Stadium. Opening whistle is set for 6 p.m.
The Terriers will continue their weekend road trip on Sunday (Aug. 26) when they visit Rutgers for a 1 p.m. contest.
"This is a critical weekend for us as we begin our season," said head coach Sally Starr, who returned to the team this week after missing the preseason while recovering from heart surgery. "Right away, we have a formidable and well-coached opponent in Delaware and then we'll face a Rutgers team that has new coach, which means a new system and a new attitude."
Delaware was picked fifth in the preseason CAA poll and is coming of a 2011 season in which it posted a record of 9-11. The Blue Hens return seven starters and their top three scorers from last season. Sophomore Kelsey McKee tallied team highs of 24 points and nine goals as a rookie.
The Terriers have faced Delaware just once - a 1-0 win in Newark in 2008 - since the Blue Hens made the move from the America East Conference to the CAA in 2002. BU holds a 13-3 advantage in the all-time series.
Meredith Long, who began her collegiate playing career at BU before transferring to Maryland, had a successful start to her head-coaching career on Friday when Rutgers pulled off a 3-2 home victory against No. 19 Albany.
The Scarlet Knights turned in a 5-13 record in 2011 before making a coaching switch and promoting Long from an assistant coach to head coach. Junior striker Gia Nappi led the squad last season in both points (17) and goals (6).
In this year's Big East preseason poll, Rutgers came in fourth out of seven teams. BU is a perfect 4-0 all-time against the Scarlet Knights and posted a 2-0 road victory when the teams last met in 2004.
BU returns its top four scorers from 2011, including two-time America East Defensive Player of the Year Jacinda McLeod (8g, 5a in 2011) and fellow seniors Macey Gaumond (10g, 4a), Nicole van Ooseterom (6g, 4a) and Tabi Hatch (5g, 4a). The team brings back eight starters in all and welcomes a talented freshman class in addition to junior transfer Ella Gunson, who helped New Zealand reach the medal round at the Olympics earlier this month.
"We're really looking forward to get out there and competing," added Starr. "Our practice at Delaware on Wednesday was the first time all month that we had 100-percent participation due to injuries. We're ready to go."