fieldhockey-d2 flag | September 20, 2013

Preview: Raiders enter weekend as No. 1

The first in-season poll brought plenty of change with four teams entering the list. Shippensburg and West Chester swapped spots, with the Raiders moving to No. 1 and the Golden Rams falling to No. 2.

This weekend could provide a big clue as to how much change there will be the next time the polls are released.

No. 1 Shippensburg

In its first game as the No. 1 team in the nation, Shippensburg got its first shutout of the season. The Raiders look for a similar result on Saturday when it hosts Indiana (Pa.), a team that fell from No. 6 to unranked in the newest poll. These two teams split their two meetings last season with the home team winning both times.

Behind an offense that has scored at least four goals in each game this season, Bre White leads the team with seven goals. A total of 11 players have scored for the Raiders and 13 players have at least one point. The defense, which is giving up just one goal per game on average, has been helped by goaltender Carenna Neely, who has given up three goals while making 15 saves.

No. 2 West Chester

The Golden Rams, the two-time defending national champion, find themselves in an unfamiliar spot after dropping two of their three previous games. They hope for a better result on Saturday when they host East Stroudsburg, another team that fell out of the early season polls. Both of last year’s games ended with West Chester shutting out East Stroudsburg.

Megan Callanan has a team-high five goals while Kelsi Lykens has four goals and one assist to be one point behind Callanan for the team lead. Audree Bonavita got her first start of the season in West Chester’s last game after Sarah Krause (13 saves, 11 goals allowed) started the first four.

No. 3 Millersville

After upsetting No. 2 West Chester earlier in the week, the Marauders look to stay unbeaten on Saturday in their fifth game of the year. If Millersville is to stay perfect, it will have to beat visiting Slipper Rock on Saturday. In last year’s meeting, Millersville blanked Slippery Rock 2-0.

Eleven Marauders have scored a goal this year, led by Rachel Dickinson’s four. Four other players have scored multiple goals and Sarah Bomberger second in the team in points with two goals and three assists. Lauren Sotzin has had a strong start to her season with a .75 goals-against average (three goals allowed) and 13 saves.

No. 4 Stonehill

The Skyhawks vaulted up to No. 4 in the latest poll after starting at No. 10 thanks to its 5-0 start. They look to extend that streak on Saturday when it travels to Southern Connecticut State. A win would also give Stonehill a bit of payback for last season’s 4-2 loss against Southern Connecticut State.

Erika Kelly, despite missing one game, already has 11 goals to run away with the team lead. The only other Skyhawk to produce multiple goals is Devin Ingersoll, who has two and is second on the team with six points. Elizabeth Genovese has made 27 saves and given up 11 goals in five starts. 

No. 5 C.W. Post

The Pioneers have enjoyed the early part of the season, winning their first four games and not giving up more than one goal in any game. After playing three of its first four games on the road, C.W. Post once again will be traveling, this time to Saint Michael’s for a game on Saturday. For the previous two years, the Pioneers have opened their season with Saint Michael’s and won both.

Carlee Dragon leads a three-headed offensive attack with six goals while Keliann Margiotta and Lyn-Marie Wilson have five and four, respectively. Ericka Parks and Meredith Stocklin have split time in goal, and have put up similar numbers. 

No. 6 Kutztown

The Bears entered the poll this week but dropped its first game, losing to No. 1 Shippensburg. A second loss would put Kutztown in real danger of making its stay short. But the Bears get the chance for a solid win on Saturday when it hosts No. 9 Mercyhurst. Last season, Mercyhurst blanked Kutztown 2-0.

Thanks to its 4-0 loss to Shippensburg, the Bears are now only outscoring their opponents by a 9-7 mark this year. Erin Reynolds is the team’s leading scorer with four goals and two assists. Erin Danner (two goals, one assist) is the only other Bear to have multiple goals on the year. Kayla Denlinger has played every minute for Kutztown and has made 25 saves and given up seven goals in that time.

No. T7 Bloomsburg

The up-and-down season for the Huskies continued this week. On the day it stayed in the rankings at T7, the Huskies were upset by Slippery Rock. The Huskies will hope to bring the season back up to a positive note on Saturday when it hosts Mansfield. The Huskies did not enjoy their trip to Mansfield last season, losing 4-2.

Felicia Domenici has twice as many goals as any other Huskie (six) and leads the team with 12 points. Brittany Mathews has three goals and two assists for eight points. Megan Eppley has started each of the first four games, making 16 saves and giving up seven goals.

No. T7 Limestone

After starting its program five years ago, the Saints have received their first ranking. Outside of a loss to Mercyhurst, Limestone has had a good start to its season with upset wins against East Stroudsburg and Indiana (Pa.). The Saints will have a busy weekend, playing a game Saturday at Dowling, at Mercy on Sunday and finishing the three-day, three-game road trip on Monday at Adelphi.

The team lead for goals is in a three-way deadlock between Rachel Goromonzi, Jill Funkhouser and Nicolle Grant who all have three. The team lead in points belongs solely with Funkhouser who also has three assists for nine points on the year. Lindsay Hinton has made 22 saves against seven goals allowed in 240 minutes of action for the Saints.

No. 9 Mercyhurst

After appearing to right its season, Mercyhurst suffered a bit of a setback earlier this week when it lost to Seton Hill. But the Lakers have a chance to get a big course correction on Saturday when it travels to No. 6 Kutztown.

Only three Lakers have scored goals this year, but each has multiple tallies. Blair Pembleton leads the team with four goals, Marissa Faso has three and Kelsey Lovelace has two. The only other player to have a point is Meghan Smith (one assist). Jess Wess has 22 saves while allowing 10 goals in 240 minutes.

No. 10 American International

The Yellow Jackets dropped their first game as a ranked team on Thursday, losing to Stonehill. Their next chance for a win as a ranked team comes Saturday when they host Bentley. In last season’s meeting, American International fell 3-1 in Massachusetts.


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