University of Delaware Field Hockey Picked Fifth in CAA Pre-season Coaches’ Poll
July 15, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. -- The University of Delaware field hockey team, with first-year head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof at the helm, has been selected to finish fifth by the league coaches in the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Field Hockey Pre-season poll announced by the conference office Monday.
The Blue Hens won the CAA Tournament in 2009 for the second time in program history but finished out of the playoff hunt in 2010 with an 8-10 overall record and a 2-6 conference mark. This season, the CAA Tournament field expands to six teams, all played at the site of the highest seed.
Delaware returns three of its top five goal-scorers as well as its starting goalkeeper in 2011.
Junior forward Melissa LeNoir returns as the team’s leading goal-scorer. She scored seven times, adding an assist for 15 points to finish second on the team.Sophomore Clare O’Malley was named to the CAA All-Rookie team last season and returns as the team’s assist leader with four. She earned a bulk of her assists a season ago as the inserter on penalty corners.
Goalkeeper Noelle Diana played every minute in the cage for the Blue Hens in 2010 and returns for her final season after making 109 saves a year ago. She allowed 50 goals in over 1,293 minutes, ending with a 3.48 goals against average. She led the Blue Hens in their lone shutout last season in the 2-0 victory over Pacific.
Defending CAA Tournament champion Old Dominion has been selected as the favorite to win the crown in 2011. The Lady Monarchs received eight first-place votes and 64 total points to take the top spot in the rankings.
Drexel finished atop the CAA regular-season standings in 2010 and received the final first place vote to finish second with 50 points. James Madison followed in third with 47 points, barely edging out Northeastern, which collected 45 points.
Delaware claimed the fifth spot with 33 total points followed by VCU (31), William & Mary (25), Hofstra (20), and Towson (9).
The Blue Hens open the season against Bryant at home on Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. and play 10 of their first 12 games inside Rullo Stadium. The CAA slate begins Sept. 30 with a home game against William & Mary.
2011 CAA Field Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll:
1. Old Dominion 64 (8 first-place votes); 2. Drexel 50 (1); 3. James Madison (47); 4. Northeastern (45); 5. Delaware (33); 6. VCU (31); 7. William & Mary (25); 8. Hofstra (20); 9. Towson (9).