Old Dominion Favored To Win Seventh Straight Field Hockey Title
By ODU Athletics
Aug. 19, 2002
RICHMOND, VA -- The Old Dominion University Lady Monarchs are predicted to capture their seventh consecutive Colonial Athletic Association field hockey championship according to a poll of the eight CAA head coaches.
Old Dominion received seven first-place votes for a maximum possible total of 49 points. William and Mary claimed second place with a total of 38 points, edging last year's runner-up James Madison with 35 points. Delaware received the other first-place vote in the poll and received 34 points. Drexel placed fifth with 27 points while Hofstra, Virginia Commonwealth, and Towson completed the final three spots.
The 2002 CAA field hockey campaign will have a different look. Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra, and Towson joined the CAA on a full-time basis last winter and will compete for the first time under the CAA banner in field hockey for the 2002 season.
Old Dominion will try to continue its field hockey success, which includes nine national championships, the most recent in 2000. They will have to do it without the services of 2001 CAA Player of the Year Adrienne Yoder who has graduated. However, Coach Beth Anders will have several key returners including senior midfielder Tiffany Snow and senior goalkeeper Marybeth Freeman. Snow led the CAA with 36 points and 14 goals in 2001 while Freeman was the top-rated goaltender averaging 1.01 goals against per game and a .774 save percentage. The Monarchs also return CAA first-team members senior midfielder Tara Herrman and junior forward Angie Loy.
CAA Coach of the Year Peel Hawthorne's Tribe of William and Mary will look to build on the success of last year's 14-5 season that included seven players awarded as CAA first-team or second-team members. Junior goalkeeper Claire Miller is the lone returning player from the first-team. She will be joined by second-team members senior forward Ann Ekberg, senior midfielder Kristen Southerland, and junior defender Kelli Dugan.
James Madison returns most of its key players from last year's 12-9 team that fell to Old Dominion in the CAA championship 5-0. The Dukes lose CAA first-team member Traci Forchetti, but return five all-conference honorees led by senior Elize van Ballagooie who was CAA Co-Defender of the Year in 2001. JMU will also return junior forward Janelle Perlis, senior defender Ryan Shean, senior forward Carrie Phillips, and senior goalkeeper Kiernan Raffo.
Delaware will try to continue its success from the America East during its first CAA season. Last year, the Blue Hens tied for second in the AEC and had a 13-8 overall record. They finished in the top four in the conference every season from 1996-2001. Key returning players for Delaware include senior Kelly Coyle and sophomore Leah Geib who were both named to the all-conference second team in 2001.
2002 CAA FIELD HOCKEY PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL
1. Old Dominion (7 first-place votes) 49 2. William and Mary 38 3. James Madison 35 4. Delaware (1 first-place vote) 34 5. Drexel 27 6t. Hofstra 15 6t. Virginia Commonwealth 15 8. Towson 11
(Teams were awarded 7 points for a first-place vote, 6 points for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)