Western New England Predicted to Finish in Sixth Place in CCC Coaches' Preseason Poll

Western New England Predicted to Finish in Sixth Place in CCC Coaches' Preseason Poll
CCC Release

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--The new-look Western New England University field hockey team and first-year head coach Mary Clare Snediker have been voted to finish in sixth place in the 2015 Commonwealth Coast Conference race, according to the CCC coaches' preseason poll announced by the conference office on Wednesday. The Golden Bears received 13 points from the league's seven head coaches.

A former Colby College standout who served as an assistant coach with the team in 2014, Snediker inherits a young Golden Bears squad that is expected to return 17 student-athletes from last year's squad that went 6-13, but doubled their win total from the previous season. Senior defenders Katherine Ferrari, Kaitlyn Labbe and sophomore forward Brittany DeLima will serve as tri-captains and provide leadership for the team. Ferrari is the CCC's active leader with 26 defensive saves, which is a school career record. Like Ferrari, Labbe is a multi-year starter and she helped the defensive unit shave 36 goals off the 2013 pace of 100. DeLima led the team with eight goals and 20 total points in all 19 games played in just her first year with the team.

Endicott College has been selected as the favorite to win the field hockey championship this season after receiving three first-place votes and a total of 45 points in the CCC preseason poll. University of New England, the 2014 champion, placed second after earning three first-place votes and a total of 44 points. Gordon College placed third with a total of 31 points while Salve Regina University earned the remaining first-place vote with 28 points to claim fourth to round out the top billing.

The top two teams in the poll competed for the CCC championship a season ago. The UNE Nor'easters claimed a thrilling 4-3 overtime, penalty-stroke victory over the EC Gulls to earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. In the first round of the national tournament, UNE earned its first-ever NCAA victory over Simmons College, 2-0. The Nor'easters would see their tournament run end as they faced a tough Middlebury squad by falling 7-0 in the second round. Gordon and Salve Regina competed in the postseason ECAC tournament. The Fighting Scots were the No. 2 seed and defeated No. 3 seeded Johnson & Wales 3-1 before dropping a 2-0 decision to Plymouth State in the championship game. The Seahawks were tabbed the No. 4 seed and claimed a 2-1 victory over Anna-Maria in the quarterfinals. Top-seeded Plymouth State would end Salve's run in the semifinals after earning a 2-1 victory over the Seahawks.

2015 CCC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

TeamPts. (1st Place)2014 AllCCC/Place
1.EndicottĀ 45 (3)16-59-3/T-2nd
2.Univ. of New England44 (3)17-711-1/1st
4.Salve Regina28 (1)14-86-6/4th
5.Roger Williams257-123-9/T-5th
6.Western New England136-133-9/T-5th

The 2015 campaign gets underway next week with all seven CCC teams in action. The top four teams in the regular-season conference standings will qualify for the postseason tournament, which starts Wednesday, Nov. 4 with semifinal action. The winners of the semifinal matchups will move on to the finals on Saturday, November 7.

Click HERE to view the 2015 CCC field hockey composite schedule.

#GoGoldenBears #beardown #bearnation

(Editor's note: Portions of this story were taken from the CCC news release.)