Field Hockey Picked Eighth in NEC Poll

Jessica Smith led the Saints with four goals and nine points in 2012

Aug. 15, 2012

Siena is the NEC coaches' pick to finish last in the conference this season. The Saints are under the direction of new head coach Kara Zappone who will try to turn around a program that went winless in 2011.

"Everything is new," Zappone said of the message she'll deliver to the team when they return to camp Monday. "We're starting fresh, and it's a great opportunity to move forward. We're on a mission to build a program that will make Siena proud."

The Saints return their top three goal scorers from last year in Jessica Smith, Kelly Johansmeyer and Michaela Sullivan, in addition to 2010 leading scorer Olivia Whelly. Junior goalie Beth Meyers has made 350 saves in her first two years with the program. Junior midfielder Lindsay Mayo has started 36 straight games.

"We have a really good base to build from and the energy leading up to the season has been very positive," Zappone said. "Everyone is anxious to get started, and from the communications I've had with the team over the summer we're all on the same page.

Monmouth was picked first in the 2012 NEC Coaches' Poll followed closely by two-time defending champ Rider. Saint Francis (Pa.), Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart and Bryant made up spots 3-7. The Preseason favorite has won the last six NEC Tournaments.

Siena opens the 2012 season August 30 at Colgate.