Aug. 25, 2010

Courtesy of Bloomsburg Athletics

BLOOMSBURG – For the fourth consecutive season, the Bloomsburg University field hockey team sits at number one in the 2010 Kookaburra/NFHCA (National Field Hockey Coaches Association) Division II preseason coaches’ poll released on Tuesday.

The Huskies received 132 total points, in addition to receiving 10 of the 14 first-place votes awarded. The squad sits ahead of rivals Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, and Indiana (Pa.) in the top 10.

After winning their fourth consecutive Division II NCAA national championship, Bloomsburg will begin a new era under first-year head coach Nikki Rhoads. Rhoads, a 2004 graduate of Bloomsburg University, will take over as head of the program after longtime great Jan Hutchinson retired after 32 seasons. While at Bloomsburg, Rhoads played under Hutchinson and was a member of two national championship teams in 2003 and 2004. Under Hutchinson, Bloomsburg tallied 16 national championships in all. Over the last six seasons, Rhoades coached Division III Alvernia University in nearby Reading.

The Huskies bring back a core of seasoned veterans, led by junior and first-team All-American forward Amanda Riley (Tannersville, Pocono Mountain East). Leading Division II in both points (62) and goals scored (27), Riley leads an attack that will certainly cause havoc for its opponents. Seniors Ashley Miller (Shermans Dale, West Perry) and Aime Sgarlat (Dallas, Lake Lehman)will join Riley on the front line, providing the spark on the offensive side of the field.

In the midfield, seniorsAmanda Deloy (Milton, DE, Cape Henlopen) and Julia Rush (Quakertown, Quakertown) anchor the group of seven competing for playing time. On the defensive side of the field, senior Madison Schoch (Quakertown, Quakertown) leads a unit that only allowed 19 goals in 23 games a year ago.

With a new face at the helm and 16 freshmen battling for roster spots, the Huskies open the 2010 season on Saturday, September 4, traveling to Stonehill for a 12 p.m. start. The team opens their home schedule on September 11, when Bloomsburg hosts Adelphi University at 12 p.m.

2010 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division II
Preseason Coaches’ Poll

1.     Bloomsburg (10)

2.     Shippensburg (2)

3.     University of Massachusetts Lowell (1)

4.     Stonehill

5.     East Stroudsburg

6.     Kutztown

7.     Bentley University

8.     IUP (1)

9.     Mercyhurst

10.   Adelphi

       (first-place votes in parentheses)