August 1, 2007

Corsairs and Owls stake a claim to field hockey poll

PROVIDENCE, R.I.— Keene State College and the University of Mass. Dartmouth share the top spot in the annual Little East Conference field hockey coaches’ preseason poll after a vote by the conference’s 12 head coaches, released by the conference office this morning. The Owls received six first-place votes and four second-place nods, while the Corsairs recorded five first-place and second place tallies for 114 total points. Each head coach cast a vote, but could not select their team.

Keene State College Head Coach Amy Watson has led her charges to a share of four straight regular season championships and three conference tournament titles. A year ago, the Owls posted an overall record of 18-5, including an unblemished 11-0 mark within the Little East, earning their fifth postseason appearance in the past six campaigns. Watson will welcome back six starters and 16 letterwinners from 2006 squad, including Little East All-Conference, first-team back junior Alyssa Rowell (Queensbury, N.Y.), while adding former Michigan University standout Erin Dallas (Marlow, N.H.) to the attacking third.

Under the stewardship of the 2006 Little East Conference Coach of the Year Nicole Castonguay, UMass Dartmouth is riding the momentum of the program’s most successful season, establishing a record 17 victories and an appearance in the championship round of the conference tournament. The Corsairs return a pair of Little East All-Conference selections, including first-team forward senior Caitlin DiCecca (Chelmsford, Mass.).

Worcester State College edged out the University of Southern Maine and Westfield State College for the No. 3 ranking. The Lancers registered a second-place vote and four third-place tallies for 89 total points, while the Huskies recorded a second-place nod, two third-place tallies, and four fourth-place ballots for 84 total points—outpointing the Owls by two.

Plymouth State University (76), Fitchburg State College (54), and Bridgewater State College (52) are predicted to qualify for the eight-team conference tournament.

The Little East Conference swings into its 10th season on Sept. 1, when three conference members take to the field. The Little East Conference Tournament will begin on October 30 with the quarterfinal round. The conference tournament champion will be crowned on Nov. 3 and earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


2007 Little East Conference Field Hockey Coaches' Preseason Poll


Total Points

(1st Place)

Keene State College



UMass Dartmouth



Worcester State College



Southern Maine



Westfield State College



Plymouth State University



Fitchburg State College



Bridgewater State College



Salem State College



Framingham State College



Eastern Connecticut



Western Connecticut