Field Hockey Picked Second in MAAC Preseason Poll; Three Bobcats Make Preseason All-MAAC Team

EDISON, N.J. – The Quinnipiac field hockey team was picked to finish second in the 2013 MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, accumulating 43 points among a vote of the league's seven head coaches. The Bobcats finished 2012 with a 12-7 overall record and 5-2 mark in the Northeast Conference, advancing to the NEC Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. The 2013 season marks Quinnipiac's first as a member of the MAAC in addition to the inaugural year the conference will support field hockey as a sport.

2012 NEC Champion Rider was tabbed as the favorite by the league's coaches, garnering 44 points, just a mere one point ahead of the Bobcats. Following Quinnipiac in third place is Monmouth with 37 points and in fourth is Robert Morris with 25. Rounding out the remaining slots in the Preseason Poll is Sacred Heart, Bryant and Siena.

2013 MAAC Presason Coaches' Poll

Rank       Team                 Points
1 Rider 44
2 Quinnipiac 43
3 Monmouth 37
4 Robert Morris 25
5 Sacred Heart 20
6 Bryant 18
7 Siena 9

The Bobcats also placed three players on the Preseason All-MAAC Team, the most of any of the seven participating institutions. Senior forward Jess Rusin (Garwood, N.J.), midfielder Jennalise Taylor (Yardley, Pa.) and defenseman Amanda Danziger (Smithtown, N.Y.) were honored with the All-MAAC distinctions.

"We are thrilled to be joining a new conference and with our selection in the first ever preseason poll," said head coach Becca Main. "This year's group of players will feature several seasoned veterans and we are elated to hear three of our players making the Preseason All-MAAC Team. Jess (Rusin), Jennalise (Taylor) and Amanda (Danziger) have all grown into their roles as leaders on this team and we expect them to play to the levels they are capable."

Rusin earns the Preseason All-MAAC selection following a transcendent season that saw her finish as the Bobcats' leader in goals (9) and points (24). Her nine goals in 2012 rank seventh all-time in a single-season in Quinnipiac history while her 0.50 goals per-game average ranks eighth. Last season's totals further add to her illustrious career, giving her 23 career goals and 55 career points, each good enough for the Top-10 in program history. Rusin earned an All-Northeast Conference Second Team honor and was also named the team's Best Offensive Player.

Taylor has already been named one of the Bobcats' co-captains for the second time in her career and will look to build upon her breakout 2012 campaign. Last season Taylor finished with career highs in goals (7), assists (7) and points (21). She opened the year with a six-point weekend to earn her first career NEC Player of the Week honor. A defenseman for the first two years of her career, Taylor switched to the midfield last season and finished second on the team in points.

Danziger continues to evolve as a player, earning the Preseason All-MAAC selection after placing on the All-NEC First Team in 2012. She emerged as one of the most dynamic defensive players in the NEC a year, scoring twice and assisting on one more goal for five points. A converted forward, Danziger spearheaded a Quinnipiac defense that posted a conference-best five shutouts in 2012 while also allowing the second fewest goals and fourth fewest shots per game in the NEC.

The Bobcats are coming off yet another banner year in which they tied their single-season wins record and set a new program record with seven non-conference wins. Quinnipiac will take on Fairfield in a home exhibition match tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. and their 2013 regular season will open on Saturday, Aug. 24 with a home game against Providence at 4:00 p.m.

2013 All-MAAC Preseason Team

Position      Player                       Team             
Forward Rosie Bird Bryant
Forward Jess Rusin Quinnipiac
Forward Sandra Penas Rider
Midfield Trish O'Dwyer Monmouth
Midfield Jennalise Taylor Quinnipiac
Midfield Alicia Giovannicci Rider
Midfield Jamie Hartley Robert Morris
Defense Kelsey Hiltebeitel Bryant
Defense Alex Carroll Monmouth
Defense Amanda Danziger Quinnipiac
Goalie Mary Altepeter Sacred Heart
Goalie Beth Mayers Siena

Player of the Year: Sandra Penas, Rider 


Contact: Ken Sweeten;