Chandler, Ariz. - September 12, 2017 - After a 4-0 start to the season, the Springfield College field hockey team is receiving votes in the Penn Moto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Coaches Poll, which was released on Tuesday morning.
The Pride, which is off to its best start since 2007, returns to the national rankings for the first time since 2009 when Springfield College was ranked No. 19 in the NFHCA Division III Preseason National Rankings. The Pride is one of three teams from the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) represented in the national rankings, as MIT and Babson are also receiving national attention.
Behind the senior leadership of Dani Sweet (Charlton, Mass.), Paige Laperle (Auburn, Mass.), Maggie Kennedy (Clay, N.Y.) and Ann Mahoney (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Springfield College kicked off the season with wins over Eastern Connecticut and Westfield State on Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3, before knocking off cross-town rival Western New England, 2-1, this past Wednesday, and Husson, 4-2, this past Saturday.
Also contributing to the Pride's success, freshman defenders Tirzah McMillan (Haddonfield, N.J.) and Morgan Bronk (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) have been stout in front of junior goalkeeper Emmalie Drake (Pittsford, N.Y.), who is the NEWMAC's third-ranked goalie in both save percentage (.818) and goals-against average (1.00). On offense, Sweet has registered 12 points thus far on six goals, which ranks second in the NEWMAC in both categories, while Belle Copponi (Dover, Mass.) has had an impressive sophomore season, posting 10 points on four goals and a pair of assists. Additionally, Laperle is ranked No. 2 in the NEWMAC in assists with three.
Next up, Springfield College will hit the road and take on Keene State on Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m.