Antonellis returns for her senior year and will anchor the midfield again (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Skyhawks take the field under new leadership at West Chester, Sept. 6
EASTON, Mass. (August 21, 2019) – The Stonehill College field hockey program has earned a No. 3 preseason ranking in the Northeast-10 Conference preseason poll by the league's 15 head coaches, the league announced this week.
Stonehill collected 157 points to lead a tightly packed trio of teams that follow preseason favorites Saint Anselm College with 186 points and six first place votes, while Pace University is picked second with 178 points and seven first place votes. Assumption College follows the Skyhawks in fourth with 153 points and a first place vote, while Southern New Hampshire University is fifth with 151 points. Bentley University is picked sixth (143 points), Adelphi University seventh (127) and the remaining first place vote, with Franklin Pierce University (96), Saint Michael's College (82) and the University of New Haven (67) rounding out the top ten.
The NE10 welcomes three associate members to the Conference this season to overcome the loss of LIU Post and Merrimack College to the NCAA Division I Northeast Conference. Molloy College (12th), Mercy College (13th) and Saint Thomas Aquinas College (15th) will all compete as NE10 members in field hockey for the first time after competing as independents. Pace claimed the NE10 regular season title and reached the NCAA Division II National Semifinals for the first time last season, while Merrimack claimed the NE10 Tournament with a 2-1 win over Saint Anselm to close out their Division II history.
Stonehill, under the direction of first-year head coach Annie Hansbury returns 16 letterwinners, including six starters, from its 2018 team that finished 13-7 overall, including 8-5 in the NE10, on its way to a spot in the NE10 semifinals where it was stopped by eventual champions Merrimack, 2-1. The Skyhawks will be looking to fill the offensive void left by four-time All-American and 2017 NFHCA Division II Player of the Year Kacie Smith, '19 to graduation after she finished her career ranked second in Division II history with her NE10 record 257 points and 109 goals to go with a program-record 39 assists.
Cameron is the Skyhawks top returning scorer after totaling 21 points to earn NE10 All-Rookie honors (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Senior All-American Michaela Antonellis, a two-time All-NE10 selection, leads the list of returnees for Stonehill after starting all 20 games at midfield for Stonehill last season and finishing with four goals and three assists. Sophomore Olivia Cameron, an NE10 All-Rookie selection last season, is the Skyhawks top returning scorer after tallying 21 points with nine goals, including two gamewinners, and three assists.
For the first time in four years, Stonehill will have a new starting goalkeeper, with junior Katie Lammando and sophomore Abigail Campbell the two returnees, having combined to play 93 minutes last season. The Skyhawks will be looking to fill the void led by the graduation of Sara Freedman, '19 who finished her career as the program's all-time leader in saves (465) and minutes played (5,354:34).
Stonehill opens its 2019 season with a pair of non-conference contests at Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) members. The Skyhawks open at West Chester (Pa.) University on Friday, September 6, before visiting East Stroudsburg University on Sunday, September 8. Stonehill's home opener is its first NE10 matchup of the year when it hosts Southern Connecticut State University on Saturday, September 14, at W.B. Mason Stadium at noon.
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