Lock Haven, who has claimed the NEC Regular-Season and Tournament Championship for the past two years, was picked to finish first, receiving eight first-place votes in the poll. Last season's championship runner-up, Rider, received one first-place vote and was tabbed to finish in second place. Sacred Heart was picked to finish behind Quinnipiac in fourth place, followed by Saint Francis (PA) and Monmouth in the five and six slots. Robert Morris, Bryant and Siena complete the poll in the seven, eight and nine spots, respectively.
The Bobcats are returning 18 players from last year's roster, including NEC Goaltender of the Year senior Jenna Grossman (Flanders, N.J.) as well as 2008 All-NEC First-Team selectees Katie Van Nostrand (Derry, N.H) and Lauren Hartnett (Walpole, Mass.). The three all-conference selections will serve as the team tri-captains for the 2009 season.
The field hockey team is also returning its top three scorers from last season in seniors Mackenzie Liptak (Schuylerville, N.Y), Christine Grady (Enfield, Conn.) and Hartnett. Liptak led the Bobcats and ranked seventh in the NEC in goals with eight. Hartnett ranked second on the team in points as she tallied five goals and four assists, while Grady scored five goals and one assist. Quinnipiac also returns its assist leader in junior Megan McCreedy (White River, South Africa) who dished out five helpers last season.
The Bobcats open their season on the road when they face Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., on Friday Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. The team's home opener takes place the following week when it hosts Northeastern on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey and Lacrosse Turf Complex.