Field Hockey Opens 2012 Campaign at No. 9 Penn State and No. 25 American
Aug. 23, 2012
NORFOLK, Va. – The No. 3 Old Dominion University field hockey team opens their 2012 season on Friday at No. 9 Penn State at 5 p.m. before traveling to No. 25 American on Sunday for a 1 p.m. start.
ODU looks to build off a stellar 22-3 campaign in 2011 that included a No. 1 national ranking during the regular season and a trip to the NCAA Field Hockey Final Four. Last week, the two-time defending CAA champions and winners of 15 CAA titles received six first-place votes and 48 points to earn the top spot in the preseason CAA poll.
The Lady Monarchs return several players who earned accolades in 2011. National Rookie of the Year Kelsey Smither is back for her sophomore campaign after scoring four goals and tallying 13 assists last season. Also returning is junior co-captain Kati Nearhouse, who was a second team All-American a year ago after scoring eight goals and registering five assists. Senior Maartje van Rijswijk ranked second on the team with nine goals while recording 10 assists in 2011.
Nearhouse, Smither and van Rijswijk were all named to the Preseason All-CAA Team on Wednesday as ODU had a league-high three players named to the squad.
Redshirt junior co-captain Christy Longacre returns at back after earning All-CAA Tournament accolades and sophomore Lydia Velzian add depth in the midfield after earning CAA All-Rookie honors a year ago when she scored five goals and added two assists. In addition, redshirt junior Danielle Clutter and senior Julie Hodge add veteran experience in the midfield for the Lady Monarchs.