MANSFIELD, Mass. – For only the second time in program history, the Saint Anselm College field hockey program was ranked first in the Northeast-10 Conference's annual Preseason Coaches' Poll. Saint Anselm topped the 15-team field with 186 points and six first-place votes.
Voted on by the league's coaches, the Hawks top the preseason poll for the first time since the 2017 season. Saint Anselm finished last year as the runner-up in the NE10 title game, but did earn the team's third consecutive NCAA Division II Championship berth despite the defeat. The Hawks will look to win at least 15 games for the fourth-straight season in 2019.
Head Coach Carolyn King-Robitaille and her charges have posted a dominant 64-19 record in the last four seasons. This includes a record of 39-5 when playing in the friendly confines of Grappone Stadium. The Hawks ended last season as the sixth-ranked program in NCAA Division II, according to the National Field Hockey Coaches' Association.
Pace, the owners of a perfect 13-0 regular season record last year, earned 178 total points to rank second. The Setters ousted the Hawks from the NCAA Division II Championship last season and led all NE10 programs with seven first-place votes in this year's poll. Stonehill and Assumption ranked third and fourth, respectively, with 157 and 153 points – the Greyhounds earned a first place vote of their own.
Southern New Hampshire was projected to finish fifth with Bentley and Adelphi, the latter receiving the final first place vote, ranking sixth and seventh. Franklin Pierce, Saint Michael's and New Haven rounded out the top-10.
With the departures of LIU Post and Merrimack from the NE10, the conference welcomes associate members Molloy, Mercy (N.Y.) and Saint Thomas Aquinas to the fold. Saint Anselm opens its 19th season of varsity field hockey on Thursday, Sept. 5, traveling to Franklin pierce for a 7 p.m. showdown at Sodexo Field in Rindge, N.H.