LOCK HAVEN – The West Chester University Golden Rams were selected as the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Preseason favorite, as voted on by the league’s head coaches, the league office announced Tuesday.
The Golden Rams earned nine first-place votes, while coming off the 2019 DII Field Hockey National Championship. WCU also returns a pair of All-Americans in Catie McNamara and Marre Corver. McNamara was also the 2019 PSAC Defensive Athlete of the year and a first-team all-conference honoree. Corver, also a defender, was a first-team all-conference honoree. WCU had a 20-1 record in 2019 on its way to the National Title.
Coming in as the second selection is defending PSAC Champion, East Stroudsburg. The Warriors did not receive a first-place vote in the voting however are coming off an impressive 2019 season in which it finished 18-2. ESU brings back All-American Celeste Veenstra as a key returnee. She was a three-time NFHCA Offensive Athlete of the Week in 2019 finishing the season with a team-best 50 points (22 goals, six assists).
Picked third in the league is Shippensburg. The Raiders earned a pair of first-place votes and come off a 12-6 season in 2019 while returning All-American Jazmin Petrantonio. Petrantonio was the 2018 NFHCA Player of the Year, 2018 PSAC Athlete of the Year and is now a three-time All-American. She led the nation with 29 goals in 2019.
Behind the Raiders are the Kutztown Golden Bears. Leigh Roselli comes back for Kutztown this season and was an All-American defender in 2019. Kutztown qualified for their first DII national semifinal since 1982 in 2019 and finished the year with a 15-6 record.
Millersville comes in ranked fifth in the PSAC to start the year. The Marauders were 13-7 in 2019 and return Kate Strickland, who earned a spot on the Synapse Sports All-Rookie team.
Bloomsburg, Mansfield, IUP, Slippery Rock and Mercyhurst rounded out the top 10, while Mercyhurst and Seton Hill concluded the poll.
The last nine NCAA DII National Champions have come from the PSAC with West Chester winning most recently in 2019. The PSAC will aim to continue its success when the field hockey schedule officially opens up the first week of September. The first league matchups will begin September 25.
For the full PSAC Preseason Poll, see below:
PSAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll
(# of first place votes)
1. West Chester (9)
2. East Stroudsburg
3. Shippensburg (2)
9. Slippery Rock
11. Seton Hill