Aug. 23, 2012
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - The Boston College field hockey team opens the 2012 campaign with a pair of games in Orono, Maine, on Friday and Saturday. The Eagles will face Michigan State on Friday at 1 p.m. and then take the field against the No. 22 Black Bears on Saturday, also at 1 p.m.
BC finished the 2011 season 10-9, racking up the 12th consecutive winning season in the program's history. Head coach Ainslee Lamb, in her eighth year at the helm, welcomes back 12 returners and 10 newcomers to the team. While the Eagles lost their top three points scorers from a season ago, Lamb believes her offense's balanced attack will be a challenge for opponents this season.
Our forward line is extremely dangerous," Lamb said. "What is really exciting about the forward line is that I don't see it with one individual star, I see a whole battalion. I think that the forward line this year has that ability to have everyone contribute. It's going to be really difficult to defend because it's not about shutting down one person."
Maine finished 16-4 last year, its best record since 1996, while Michigan State was 7-13 one year ago. Since 1987, BC leads the series against the Black Bears, 9-2, but fell last year, 4-3, at home. The Spartans have won two contests against the Eagles and the two teams have tied once. The last time they faced each other, MSU defeated BC, 4-0, in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
While the Eagles have an experienced backfield, their goalie will see her first action at the collegiate level. Freshman Leah Settipane will start for the Maroon and Gold after shutting out Colgate in the first scrimmage.
"There is a lot of confidence right now in Leah's ability," Lamb said." I think that over the preseason and in the two scrimmages, she proved to the team she can do the job. She is excited by the opportunity. The desire in the backfield to protect her is the highest I have ever seen it. Kara Mackintire, Jacqui Moorfield, Sarah Hospodar and Hannah Mulvey are motivated to help her be successful."
After the weekend, the Eagles have one more road game, at Quinnipiac on Aug. 31 before they open the season at home on Sept. 2 against Massachusetts.
The Eagles were picked to finish sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while defending National Champions Maryland was picked to win the conference.
Boston College starts the season ranked 17th in the 2012 Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll. Maryland earned the No. 1 spot, while North Carolina took No. 2, Duke No. 5, Virginia No. 8 and Wake Forest No. 13.
Junior midfielder Nicole Schuster returns as the Eagles' sole player to be named to the All-ACC and All-ACC Tournament teams in 2011.