(Fairfield, CT) – The Sacred Heart Field Hockey team is back on campus, gearing up for the 2011 season with camp beginning on Tuesday, August 9.
"We are very excited about our returning core of upperclassmen, as well as an exciting group of freshmen," said head coach Chris Blais. "It is time to get to work on having an impact season in the Northeast Conference.
Kim Stow (Norwalk, CT), last season's NEC Goalkeeper and Defensive Player of the year, returns in net for the Pioneers for her graduate senior season. As the last line of defense for SHU, Stow led all NEC goalkeepers last year with 163 saves and became the first goalie in NEC history to win both Goalkeeper and Defensive Player of the Year. She has played every minute of the past two seasons, and recorded three shutouts last year with a 2.75 goals against average.
Junior forward Lindsay Kasten (Fair Haven, NJ) looks to build off a breakout sophomore season in which she led the team with seven goals and 14 points. She finished the season on a three-game scoring streak, and recorded the winning goal in three of Sacred Heart's four wins.
While Kasten scored the most goals on the Pioneers, the teammate who set her up the most also returns looking to build off a productive season. Senior forward Chelsea Carlson (Peterborough, NH) led SHU with eight assists to go along with a goal for a total of 10 points last year. Carlson has the most career points of all returning Pioneers, with 10 goals and 11 assists for 31 points in her first three seasons.
Senior Alex Melillo (Southbury, CT) and junior Karly Duven (Freehold, NJ) both look to build upon their multi-goal seasons at the forward position, both having netted two goals for four points last season.
Hannah Robinson returns to action in the midfield as a fifth-year senior after redshirting last year with an injury sustained early in the season. Before the injury, she had started every game for the past two seasons for the Pioneers. The Pioneers also bring back junior Kate Boyd (Nottingham, NH) and Katie Mazin (Putnam Valley, NY), who both saw significant time in the midfield last year.
On defense, SHU returns junior Maddie Hoeppner (Shelbourne Falls, MA), junior Nikki Kimborowicz (Biddeford, ME), and junior Steph Grauer (Danielson, CT) – all of whom played 10 or more games last season and who are expected to make up the core of this season's defense as well.
The Pioneers begin the 2011 season with two games at the Anheuser-Busch Center in St. Louis, MO Aug. 26-27, with their season opener against St. Louis University followed the next day by a game with Missouri State University. Sacred Heart begins NEC play on October 7 when they host St. Francis (PA). They Pioneers host Drexel at Yale on September 9 in what is technically their home opener, although they play at Campus Field for the first time on September 23 when they host Lehigh.