Field hockey aims for a third title

Last season the field hockey team, started 1-4. Despite a rash of injuries and adversity, the team still managed to win a share of the conference title. If the team can display the resolve it showed last season with a wealth of returning talent, it should be in the thick of the hunt for its third straight conference title.

While head coach Brenda Meese has been at the helm of the very successful program, winning more than 300 games as a collegiate coach, interim head coach Kelly Hubbell directs the team this year as Meese is on a one-year sabbatical.

Hubbell is no stranger to the program ‚Ä” she has been an assistant to Meese during the past two years and was a player in the program from 2001-2004. During her senior season, she was named an All-American.

The Scots will also feature one of their very own All-Americans on the field this season. In 2006, Amanda Artman was named a second-team All-American as she led the team in points, goals and assists in her first-year season. Artman’s sophomore campaign was cut short by a season-ending shoulder injury at the beginning of the 2007 season. With Artman back on the field, the Scots should have no trouble putting points on the board.

Flanking Artman will be Brittany Montgomery ’10, an all-conference player in her own right. Montgomery already has 51 career points (22 goals, 7 assists) and helped shoulder the scoring load last season when Artman was out.

Eileen Barrer ’11 emerged as the leading scorer last season with 29 points (13 goals, 3 assists) on the way to being named to the All-NCAC second team in her first collegiate season. Briana Lynch ’11 also made the headlines in her first-year season, finishing with 12 goals and four assists. With the return of Artman, the forward line could run opposing defenses ragged this year.

The midfield will be led by Nina Dine ’11 and Stephanie Sandera ’11, two players who earned All-NCAC honorable mention last season as first-years. Kate Valora ’11 started at the other midfield position. Alex Cotter ’09 missed last season while traveling abroad, but returns at midfielder.

On the defensive side, the team will have to replace All-NCAC defender Kate Persing ’08. Anna Hurley ’09, who was named second–team All-NCAC last year, returns in what will be her fourth year as a starter. In her career, Hurley has 21 defensive saves.

At goalkeeper, Izzy Maffetone ’10 returns as the incumbent starter while notching a .760 save percentage last year, but she will have competition behind her. Carly Herman ’10 and Abby Peters ’11 will also compete for playing time, along with newcomer Madalyn Myers ’12.

The team should be loaded with a wealth of returning talent at the forward and midfield spots. The team is optimistic, yet cautious.

“We have high expectations for this season, but we understand that this is a tough conference and it won’t just be handed to us. It’s going to take hard work, to be sure,” said Artman.