Aug. 25, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-For the second year in a row, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team has been picked to finish first in the annual Little East Conference Coaches' Poll.
The defending champion Corsairs received nine of the 12 first-place votes and 140 points, putting them 11 points ahead of second-place Keene State and 15 points ahead of Plymouth State, which was picked to finish third. The Owls got one first-place votes, and the Panthers received the other two. Southern Maine, Fitchburg State, Bridgewater State, Western Connecticut State, Salem State and Westfield State were picked to fill out the rest of the playoff field (SSU and Westfield tied for eighth, the final spot in the field). Framingham State, Worcester State and Eastern Connecticut State were chosen to fill out the final three positions.
"This is a nice compliment from the conference coaches, but I stand by one of my favorite sayings that it's not how you start, it's how you finish, and I have to stay true to that belief, " said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Castonguay. "On another note, it's a nice positive boost for my returning players who have worked so very hard this summer in order to come back with the intention of defending a title. We have some strong newcomers who will contribute this season, and I look forward to the new journey ahead
The Corsairs were 15-7 last season, winning the Little East Conference post-season tournament and advancing to the NCAA Division III Championships for the second year in a row.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FIELD HOCKEY
2011 Little East Conference Pre-Season Field Hockey Poll
UMass Dartmouth 140 points, Keene State 129, Plymouth State 125, Southern Maine 87, Fitchburg State 86, Bridgewater State 84, Western Connecticut 63, Salem State 54, Westfield State 54, Framingham State 47, Worcester State 47, Eastern Connecticut 20
First place votes: UMass Dartmouth 9, Plymouth State 2, Keene State 1