BOSTON - The University of New Hampshire field hockey team was selected in a tie for third in the 2006 America East Field Hockey Preseason Poll that was released Wednesday afternoon.
UNH amassed 15 points to equal that of the University at Albany. Boston University is a unanimous preseason favorite for the second consecutive year by garnering five first-place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team) and a total of 25 points. The University of Maine collected the other first-place vote and 18 points to place second, just ahead of both UNH and Albany. The University of Vermont (12 points) and UBMC (five) complete the coaches' poll.
The Wildcats, who last year missed the postseason for just the third time in the 15-year tenure of head coach Robin Balducci, return 16 letterwinners - including eight starters - featuring 2005 America East All-Rookie Team honorees Brittany Jacobs (Frederick, Md.), Kara Napolitano (Waltham, Mass.) and Michelle Tavener (Winchester, Mass.).
The 2006 UNH roster also boasts seven student-athletes from the Granite State, including juniors Shauna Sellenger (Londonderry) and Jen Mooney (Manchester), as well as junior goalkeeper Margaux Shute (Norridgewock, Maine), who played every second of the 2005 season.
New Hampshire opens the season August 26 at home against regional rival Northeastern University. Game time at Memorial Field is 7 p.m.
2006 AMERICA EAST FIELD HOCKEY PRESEASON POLL
Rank (1st place votes) Points
1. Boston University (5) 25
2. Maine (1) 18B
3. Albany 15
New Hampshire 15
5. Vermont 12
6. UMBC 5