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Lock Haven University Field Hockey to open season Friday

Tia Judy (8) and Mackenzie Farley (11) of LHU Field Hockey run during a game in the 2017 NCAA college season. (Photo courtesy of LHU Field Hockey)

LOCK HAVEN – The Lock Haven University field hockey team is set to open the 2018 season on Friday, August 24 at Lehigh. The Bald Eagles’ season-opener is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.

It will be a quick start to the season as LHU will be right back at it on Saturday, August 25 as The Haven takes on Sacred Heart at Lehigh (5 p.m.).

2018 News, Notes & Storylines:

Setting the stage:

LHU will open the 2018 season at 7 p.m. on Friday (August 24) vs. Lehigh. Last season, LHU beat Lehigh 3-1 at home in mid-October. On Saturday, Lock Haven will play Sacred Heart at Lehigh. The Bald Eagles opened last season with 4-1 home-win over Sacred Heart.

The road ahead:

Lock Haven fans won’t have to wait long to see the 2018 edition of LHU field hockey at home as next weekend, in just the second weekend of the season, the Bald Eagles will host a pair of games. On Friday, August 31, LHU will host Towson before playing host to Cornell on Sunday, September 2. In all, Lock Haven will host nine home games during the 2018 season including Atlantic 10 (A-10) contests vs. preseason-favorite Saint Joseph’s, Saint Francis, Saint Louis and La Salle. LHU will open A-10 play at Massachusetts on Friday, September 14.

Picked fifth in preseason poll:

In the preseason poll, the A-10 head field hockey coaches tabbed LHU fifth out of nine teams. Saint Joseph’s received eight of nine first-place votes and was picked to win the league. Massachusetts was picked second and Richmond rounded out the top-three.

Roach a preseason

All-Conference pick:

Tamia Roach was named to the 2018 A-10 Preseason All-Conference Team. Roach, a dynamic senior-midfielder, was a Second Team A-10 selection last season. She finished the season with eight goals, five assists and her 21 points ranked second on the team. Four of Roach’s eight goals were game-winning strikes and she was a vital reason behind the team’s overall success.

A quick look back at the 2017 season:

Last season, the Bald Eagles went 10-8 overall and finished A-10 play at 3-5 with conference wins over La Salle, Davidson and Saint Louis. Four of The Haven’s 10 wins came at home.

Rudy looking to add to

Hall of Fame career:

For LHU head coach Pat Rudy, the 2018 season will mark her 23rd season at LHU and her 41st overall as a collegiate head field hockey coach. She enters the season with 593 career wins, the third most in the history of NCAA field hockey. The Hall of Famer will look to crack the 600 win-plateau, a feat accomplished by only two other coaches in history. In January (2018), Rudy was inducted in the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association (NFHCA) Hall of Fame.

Haven’s top scorer back:

This season, LHU will certainly benefit from the return of Alyscia Smith. The senior scored a team-high 10 goals last season and led the team with 23 points (10G, 3A).

Bald Eagles led

by veteran experience:

LHU returns nine starters from last year’s team including offensive leaders Smith (10G, 3A) and Roach (8G, 5A). Sophomore Tia Judy started every game last season as a rookie on defense and led The Haven with nine assists. MacKenzie Farley scored four goals last year and Dana-Lee De Gannes registered three goals and two assists last season. Kayla Brathwaite (1G, 5A), Emily Robb (1G, 2DSV) and Taylor Plouse all return as well after solid seasons a year ago.

Winning ways:

The 2017 season marked LHU’s 29th consecutive season with 10 or more wins, a truly remarkable accomplishment in collegiate field hockey. The streak dates back to 1989, therefore LHU has won 10 or more games every season since returning to NCAA Division I play in 2004.

Newcomers:

The 2018 roster features six talented freshmen: Billie Jo Bollinger, Karina Long, Isabella Reynoso, Madison Becker, Korryn Kehler and Genevieve Martinelli.

Up next:

Following Saturday’s (Aug. 25) game vs. Sacred Heart at Lehigh, Lock Haven will host its 2018 home-opener. On Friday, August 31, LHU will host Towson at 6 p.m. on Charlotte Smith Field.

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