The University of Maine field hockey team has been picked third in the America East preseason coaches poll.
Albany was picked first, and New Hampshire was selected third.
“We have an experienced and talented team that competes hard each and every game, and we are excited to take on the 2014 season,” Maine coach Josette Babineau said in a news release.
Fairfield was ranked fourth, followed by UMass Lowell and Vermont.
The Black Bears return 17 players from last year’s squad, which finished 11-9 and lost in the semifinal round to Albany.
The Black Bears open their 2014 slate with a two-game road trip to Michigan beginning on Aug. 29 against Central Michigan and following it up with a Sept. 1 game with Michigan State.
Maine begins its home slate in Orono on Sept. 20 against Bryant.
Maine enters 2014 with only three newcomers that weren’t apart of the team during the 2013 season. Belfast native Madison Cummings follows in her sister’s (Brittney Cummings) footsteps and plays for the squad, while the Black Bears welcome Appalachian State transfer and Belgrade native Lynnae Lettuich and Old Dominion transfer Emily Corbett.
Maine leading scorer and 2013 All-American Annabelle Hamilton, along with Canadian National team-member Holly Stewart, highlight Maine’s list of returning players.
Hackert named Colby track coach
After three years as an assistant coach for the Colby College track and field programs, Emily Hackert was named interim head coach of the Mules’ women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams on Thursday.
Hackert takes over for Deb Aitken, who will coach cross country this fall and then take a sabbatical for the two track seasons.
Hackert is a 2006 Bowdoin College graduate, and she later earned her master’s degree from Springfield College in 2011.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to step in as interim head coach,” Hackert said in a news release. “Deb has created such a strong tradition of success for Colby women’s track and field. I only hope that I can do the program justice in her absence.”
Hackert’s assistant position was concentrated on Colby’s hurdlers, sprinters and horizontal jumpers. She made an immediate impact with the Mules by coaching two-time national champion and three-time All-American Dom Kone (2013) in the sprints.