CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University of New Hampshire field hockey team, led by 20th-year head coach Robin Balducci, has been picked to finish third in the 2010 America East standings according to the league's Preseason Poll that was released Thursday.

UNH received one first-place vote and a total of 17 points to trail defending America East tournament champion Boston University (23 points; four first-place votes) and 2009 regular-season league titlist University at Albany (20; one). The Wildcats are followed in the poll by the University of Maine (16), then Fairfield University and the University of Vermont complete the poll with seven points apiece.

The regular-season champion will be the host of the 2010 America East Field Hockey Championship tournament on Nov. 5-6. The top four teams advance to compete in the tourney, and the victor will then advance to an NCAA play-in game against the Northeast Conference champion.

UNH returns 11 letterwinners – and two redshirt student-athletes – from the 2009 team that finished with a 12-7 overall record (the highest win total by the Wildcats since 2002) and two victories against nationally-ranked teams. The 'Cats welcome 10 freshmen to this year's squad and have a total of six Granite State natives on the roster.

New Hampshire opens the upcoming season at home in the Wildcat Invitational on Aug. 28-29. UNH plays Lock Haven on opening day and then battles Delaware the following day. Both games at Memorial Field begin at 2:30 p.m.


2010 America East Field Hockey Preseason Poll

  1. Boston U. (4)     23
  2. Albany (1)         20
  3. UNH (1)            17
  4. Maine               16
  5. Fairfield              7
    Vermont             7
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