CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University of New Hampshire field hockey team, led by 23rd-year head coach Robin Balducci, was selected second in the 2013 America East Field Hockey Coaches' Preseason Poll that was released Thursday.
UNH, which has won three consecutive America East regular-season titles and advanced to three consecutive tournament championship games including a 2011 title, received one first-place vote and a total of 21 points.
The University at Albany garnered four first-place votes and 24 points to sit atop the poll. The University of Maine received the other first-place vote and followed UNH in third place with 18 points. Fairfield University (12 points), University of Massachusetts Lowell (8) and University of Vermont (7) complete the poll.
Voting was conducted by the conference's six head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own team.
New Hampshire, with a 14-1 aggregate conference record the past three years, returns 10 starters and 15 letterwinners overall from the 2012 team that went 12-8 overall and 5-0 in America East.
Seniors Megan Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and Casey Pohlmeyer (Millersville, Md.) were All-Conference First Team honorees a year ago while classmate Hannah Richard (Hopkinton, N.H.) and junior Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) were Second Team selections. Bozek, also the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the NFHCA Northeast Region First Team and All-America Third Team. Joyce and Pohlmeyer were voted to the Northeast Region Second Team.
UNH begins the 2013 season with the Conference Cup at Temple University with a game against the University of Maryland on opening day (Aug. 31, 12 p.m.). The Wildcats' first home game is Sept. 13 (7 p.m.) against Providence College.
The four-team America East Championship tournament will be held Nov. 7 & 9 at the highest seed.