Aug. 30, 2010
Center Valley, Pa. -- The 2010 Patriot League Field Hockey season got underway over the weekend, with three of the four teams in action picking up their first victory of the year.
Patriot League Field Hockey Release - 8.30.10
No. 15 American and Lehigh each got off on the right foot on Friday, with the Eagles knocking off Richmond, 5-1, and the Mountain Hawks tripping up Sacred Heart, 4-1, in home openers. American's Anne Van Erp posted a hat trick in the victory, while Lehigh's Kim Eng had a goal and two assists.
Colgate matched last year's win total by taking its season opener, 5-0, over Robert Morris on Saturday. Freshman Halle Biggar began the game with her first two collegiate goals, while Laura Denenga also tallied twice and Kirsten Lalli earned her first career save.
Bucknell opened its season with a pair of losses to Temple and Saint Joseph's, though Corinne Raczek did record three assists to tie for sixth in Patriot League history with 30 in her career. American and Lehigh fell in their second game of the year, with the Eagles losing at home against No. 16 Old Dominion, 2-1, and the Mountain Hawks dropping a 4-1 final to Quinnipiac.
The Raiders go for their second win of the season on Monday when they host Northwestern. A busy weekend includes the openers for Holy Cross and Lafayette and two games for every team except American. All six Patriot League squads are in action on Sunday.
Patriot League Weekly
Offensive Player of the Week
ANNE VAN ERP, AMERICAN Sr., M/D, Hilversum, Netherlands
Van Erp posted her first career hat trick to lead American to a season-opening 5-1 win over Richmond on Friday. She scored the game's first goal just 2:07 into the contest and added the third and fifth tallies for the Eagles in the second half. She scored on all three of her shots in the game. Van Erp has now won the Offensive, Defensive and Rookie of the Week honors in her career, and has started the season with a weekly award for three straight years after opening with Defensive Player of the Week honors in the past two campaigns.
Defensive Player of the Week
GINA HOFMANN, AMERICAN So., D, Braunschweig, Germany
Hofmann had an outstanding debut to her career as an Eagle, scoring the game-winning goal and assisting on two others to lead American past Richmond, 5-1, on Friday. She tallied the game-winner in the 56th minute to put the Eagles up, 2-1, and also assisted on the next two goals. She helped the American defense limit Richmond and Old Dominion to a combined 12 shots overall and five on goal over the weekend.
Goalkeeper of the Week
KIRSTEN LALLI, COLGATE Sr., GK, Pound Ridge, N.Y.
Lalli recorded her first collegiate shutout as Colgate opened its season with an impressive 5-0 victory over Robert Morris on Saturday. She notched four saves while starting a season opener for the first time in her career. Lalli is Colgate's first Goalkeeper of the Week honoree since Sarah Pedersen in 2008.
Rookie of the Week
HALLE BIGGAR, COLGATE Fr., A, Pepper Pike, Ohio
Biggar got the Raiders off to a fast start by registering the first two goals of the game in an eventual 5-0 blanking of Robert Morris on Saturday. She tallied her first collegiate goal just 1:24 into the contest, and scored the second goal of the game on a reverse shot from inside the circle.
KIM ENG, LEHIGH So., F, Morristown, N.J.
Eng scored a goal and recorded two assists in Lehigh's 4-1 win over Sacred Heart on Friday, and added another goal in the Mountain Hawks' 4-1 loss to Quinnipiac on Sunday.
LAURA DENENGA, COLGATE Sr., A/M, Harare, Zimbabwe
Denenga had two goals as Colgate won its season opener, 5-0, over Robert Morris on Saturday.
Patriot League Notebook
American Picked to Win 2010 Patriot League Title
Winners of the last seven Patriot League Field Hockey championships, the American Eagles were selected to claim the crown again in vote of the League's coaches and sports information directors, it was announced on Wednesday.
The Eagles earned 50 points and 10 of the 12 first-place votes, garnering all potential first-place selections as coaches and sports information directors were not allowed to vote for their own teams. Lafayette placed second with 40 points and a first-place vote, while Bucknell took third with 34 points and the remaining first-place pick. Lehigh (25), Holy Cross (21) and Colgate (10) rounded out the rankings.
Award Winners Off to Fast Start
Three award winners are among a strong contingent of returning talent for Patriot League squads, as American's Christine Fingerhuth was named the Offensive Player of the Year in 2009, Lehigh's Kim Eng took home the Rookie of the Year Award and Lafayette's Kelsey Andersen was named the Goalkeeper of the Year. Andersen opens her season this weekend, but Fingerhuth and Eng were in fine form in their first two contests. Eng leads the Patriot League in shots and is tied for the lead with six points (2 g, 2 a), while Fingerhuth had an assist in a strong opening weekend for the Eagles.
Raiders Trying to Turn it Around
Colgate is already showing signs that the 2010 season will not mimic last year's campaign. The Raiders have already equaled their 2009 win total after topping Robert Morris, 5-0, on Saturday. It was their first victory since beating Saint Francis (Pa.) by a similar score on Sept. 20, 2009.
Eagles Ranked No. 15 in Kookaburra/NFHCA Top 20
The National Field Hockey Coaches Association announced its 2010 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll Tuesday with one Patriot League team in the top 20 and another receiving votes. American, which finished 12-9 and won its seventh Patriot League championship in 2009, is ranked 15th to start the season, and Lafayette, the Patriot League runner-up, received five votes. North Carolina is ranked No. 1 with 25 first-place votes, ahead of No. 2 Maryland which received 22 first-place votes. The Tar Heels defeated the Terrapins 3-2 in the 2009 NCAA title game in November. Virginia, Princeton and UConn round out the top five.
Tucker Takes Over at Holy Cross
Zowie Tucker took over as head coach of the Holy Cross program in July. Tucker joins the Crusaders after spending the last nine seasons on the coaching staff at Northeastern University, including four years as the associate head coach. She worked extensively with the team's defensive unit and goalies during her time with the Huskies, as the team posted a 120-74 record with 52 shutouts over the last nine years.
2010 Patriot League Championship
The 2010 Patriot League Field Hockey Championship will be held at the site of the top seed on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6. The top four teams in the final regular-season standings make the tournament, with the semifinals on Friday and championship on Saturday. The winner of the Patriot League Championship advances to an NCAA Play-In game on Nov. 9.
American The No. 15 Eagles opened the season with a 1-1 record, defeating Richmond, 5-1, on Friday but falling to No. 16 Old Dominion, 2-1, on Saturday in Washington. Anne Van Erp recorded her first career hat trick in the win over the Spiders, while Gina Hofmann added a goal and two assists. Hannah Weitzman started in goal for each contest and allowed two goals on five shots in the games. American will face another challenging contest next, playing No. 13 Louisville on Sunday.
Bucknell The Bison dropped their first two games of the season in Philadelphia, falling to Temple, 4-2, on Saturday and Saint Joseph's, 7-3, on Sunday. Corinne Raczek had two assists against Temple and one more against Saint Joseph's, and is up to 30 assists for her career. She is the second Bison to ever reach 30 or more assists, and stands in a tie for sixth place in Patriot League history. Christine Weiss scored a goal in both games. Despite the losses, the Bison held a 22-7 advantage in penalty corners over the first two games. Bucknell will once again go for its first win of the season when it opens its home schedule against Albany on Saturday and travels to No. 4 Princeton on Sunday.
Colgate The Raiders are on the board with their first victory of the season after toppling Robert Morris, 5-0, in the home and season opener on Saturday. Freshman Halle Biggar started her career in fine fashion by scoring the first two goals of the game, while Laura Denenga also tallied twice in the victory. Kirsten Lalli stopped all four shots she faced in the net for her first career shutout. Colgate has already matched last year's win total, and tries for a fast start as it faces a busy week by hosting Northwestern on Monday and traveling to Rider and Monmouth over the weekend. Northwestern is just outside the top 20, while Rider is receiving votes.
Holy Cross The Crusaders will begin the 2010 campaign at Harvard on Saturday in the debut for Head Coach Zowie Tucker. Holy Cross will also play its home opener over the weekend when it welcomes Boston College on Sunday.
Lafayette Picked second in the Patriot League, the Leopards will get a major test right from the start when they visit No. 6 Wake Forest on Saturday. The Leopards will remain in Winston-Salem when they take on Davidson on Sunday.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks split a pair of home games over the weekend, knocking off Sacred Heart, 4-1, in the opener on Friday before falling to Quinnipiac, 4-1, on Sunday. Sophomore Kim Eng, the 2009 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, delivered in each game with a goal and two assists against the Pioneers and another goal against the Bobcats. Lehigh concludes its four-game season-opening homestand by playing West Chester and Saint Francis (Pa.) over the weekend.