August 29, 2009
Bloomsburg University Field Hockey Season Preview
Even though the Bloomsburg field hockey team lost seven starters from last year's NCAA Division II national championship, the cupboard is not bare for Huskies head coach Jan Hutchinson. Bloomsburg returns seven of the top nine scorers from a team that set an NCAA Division II record with 161 goals scored as it looks to win its fourth straight title for the second time in school history.
"Despite losing seven starters from last season, two of them All-Americans, we still have a strong offensive group of players returning," said Hutchinson, who has won 15 national championships in her illustrious career. "All our players look improved from last year with better skills and better game sense. We have the potential to be a big scoring team."
"However, this is a new year and a new team," Hutchinson said. "We are putting together a new defense and will have a new starting goalie this season, so there will be a transition period for us. Everyone needs to get used to playing with each other."
The Huskies return a very talented and deep group of forwards who all have lots of big game experience. Among the key players up front for the Huskies will be All-American Maggey Bloskey, Ashley Miller, Breanne Tobin, Amanda Riley, Lindsay Danz, and Aimee Sgarlatt. Bloskey had a big game in the NCAA semi-finals when she netted three goals in the Huskies win over Shippensburg. She finished with a career-high 21 goals and was third on the team in scoring with 45 points. Miller finished with 12 goals and added six assists, while Riley had an impressive freshman season with 12 goals and two assists.
The Huskies will once again be strong in the middle of the field led by All-American Chelsea Due. There is not much left to be said about the play of Due that has not already been said. A catalyst for the Huskies offense with her play in the middle, Due scored 13 goals and assisted on seven others last year. She will anchor the middle of the field along with Julia Rush, Kara Stahl, Amanda Deloy and Rachel Zerfoss.
The Huskies lost quite a bit from their defensive unit a year ago that limited opponents to just 20 goals scored, but do return several players who saw a lot of time at the position a year ago. Among the key players this season will be Kacy Friend, who made 12 starts last year; Aubrey Carman who made eight starts; Madison Schoch, Rebecca Sherman, and Betsy Renn.
While the Huskies graduated All-Conference goalie Alison Ziants, her backup, Caitlin Koczynski was solid as a reserve posting a goals against average of 0.32 in 437 minutes of work. Koczynski also posted two shutouts a year ago and is ready to step into the position on a full-time basis this year.
Bloomsburg always seems to be loaded with many talented freshmen and 2009 is no different. A strong group of newcomers will be looking to keep the Huskies long tradition of winning alive. Among the players to watch out for are red-shirt freshmen Kara Stahl, a midfielder and Niki Leone, an attack player. Also, freshmen Amber Aulenbach, Nicole Bruce, Lauren McGinley, Alexis Weber, Kristin Witmer and Michelle Cragle.
"Our team goals remain the same," said Hutchinson. "We want to play well enough during the regular season to qualify for both the PSAC and NCAA championships and hopefully be fortunate enough to win those titles. I know,however, that we will need time to gel as a unit.
"The PSAC is once again a tough league with teams like Shippensburg, Kutztown, East Stroudsburg and IUP all with strong teams," Hutchinson said. "We will have our work cut out for us once again."