Field hockey opens 2019 season as nation's sixth-ranked program

Field hockey opens 2019 season as nation's sixth-ranked program

GILBERT, Ariz. – The Saint Anselm College field hockey team will open the 2019 season as the sixth-ranked program in NCAA Division II, according to the 2019 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches' Association (NFHCA) Division II National Preseason Poll revealed on Tuesday.

The Hawks, ranked first in the Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, were ranked sixth in the country by the NFHCA membership. Saint Anselm has now earned a preseason national ranking for the third consecutive season and will open its 19th year as a varsity program this Thursday, Sept. 5 at Franklin Pierce.

Shippensburg University headlines the 10-team poll with 243 points and 22 first-place votes. The Raiders are followed by West Chester University and East Stroudsburg University, receiving the remaining three combined first place votes. Millersville University is fourth while Pace University, ranked second by the Northeast-10 Conference coaches in their own poll, sits 10 points ahead of Saint Anselm (128 points).

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 final NFHCA poll of the 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.