Field Hockey Looking for Seventh Straight
New England College field hockey finished their 2007 season with a 14-7 overall record and an impressive 7-1 conference record. The Pilgrims sailed through the playoffs winning their sixth straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) Championship and earning their ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Pilgrims started last season with a record of 3-4 but went 8-2 in their final ten games, including a 4-2 win over Nichols College in the TCCC Championship, to capture their eighth conference championship in nine years.
The Pilgrims lost two seniors to graduation from the 2007 championship squad including NFHCA 1st Team All-American Amanda Lester. Lester started 20 games for the Pilgrims and led the team with 80 points, including a team-high 36 goals and eight assists. NEC will also have to do without midfielder Jackie Brown who started 20 games last season.
The Pilgrims do return TCCC 1st Team All-Conference midfielder Jodie Dresser. Dresser (Keene, N.H.) started 20 games for the Pilgrims and finished the season with 15 points, including four goals and seven assists. Also returning on offense for the Pilgrims is sophomore forward Marisa Ayotte (Feeding Hills, Mass.) who finished second on the team in scoring with 13 goals and nine assists last season and junior Sarah Feugill (Derry, N.H.) who was third on the team with 11 goals a year ago.
The Pilgrim defense will be anchored by TCCC 2nd Team All-Conference defender Holly Soule (Littleton, N.H.) and TCCC All-Honorable Mention defender Heather DiNapoli (Concord, N.H.) who helped hold opponents to just 2.88 goals per game and picked up two shutouts last season. Joining Soule and DiNapoli on defense will be juniors Khatianna Evans (Wayne, Maine) and Jamie Johnson (Lynnfield, Mass.)
Head Coach Susan M. Murray will look to her huge incoming class to make an immediate impact. The Pilgrims welcome eight first-year players including forward Kaitlyn Bauchkey (Toms River, N.J.) who will look to pick up some of the scoring for the Pilgrims this season. First-year players Amanda Naimie (York, Maine) and Elise Luccarelli (Holmdel, N.Y.) will see time at the midfield position, while Stephanie Bishop (Shoreham, Vt.,) Nicole Engrem (Wilmington, Mass.) and Jamie Foley (Braintree, Mass.) will look to make an impact at the defensive position. NEC will look to first-year keeper Jesse Kilcullen (N. Salem, N.Y.) to keep opposing offenses off the scoreboard.
The Pilgrims open their season on the road taking on
Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Saturday, August 30 at 1:00 p.m.