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Field Hockey Season Preview

Princeton's Katie Reinprecht
Princeton's Katie Reinprecht

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The 2012 Ivy League field hockey season begins this weekend, with the eight teams combining to play 15 games, including seven Ivy teams opening their seasons on Friday, Aug. 31.

On Friday, Brown and Penn each open the 34th season of Ivy League play with home contests, including Brown welcoming New Hampshire to its newly completed field hockey complex and Penn playing host to Lehigh.

Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth and Cornell all hit the road to open the season. The Lions travel to face Richmond, Yale heads to in-state rival Fairfield, Princeton travels south to play at Duke, the Big Green play at UMass and the Big Red play at Lock Haven.

Harvard will be the final Ivy to open the 2012 season when it welcomes Holy Cross to Jordan Field on Saturday. Also on Saturday, Brown plays a second-straight day as Vermont comes to Warner Roof. Sunday highlights include Cornell playing host to North Carolina and Princeton playing at Wake Forest.

Season Openers
In 2011, Ivy League teams combined to go 4-4 in season openers, including wins by Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard and Princeton. Harvard and Princeton carry four-game season-opening win streaks into the 2012 season. In the last five seasons, the Ivies have gone: 2-6 (2007), 4-4 (2008), 4-4 (2009), 6-2 (2010) and 4-4 (2011).

In The Rankings
The 2012 Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Preseason Poll was released on Aug 21 and Princeton came in at No. 4 with 609 points and seven first-place votes.

Rank. School, Points(first place votes)
1. University of Maryland, 815 (17)
2. University of North Carolina, 799 (15)
3. Old Dominion University, 629
4. Princeton University, 609 (7)
5. Duke University, 579 (1)
6. University of Connecticut, 565
7. Syracuse University, 559
8. University of Virginia, 539 (3)
9. Penn State University, 501
10. University of Michigan, 426
11. Stanford University, 367
12. University of Iowa, 347
13. Wake Forest University, 293
14. Boston University, 230
15. Ohio State University, 216
16. University of California, 209
17. Boston College, 199
18. University of New Hampshire, 198
19. University at Albany, 171
20. Northwestern University, 136
21. Northeastern University, 122
22. University of Maine, 113
23. University of Louisville, 60
24. Drexel University, 59
25. American University, 58

2011 Recap

For the first time since 2004 and just the sixth time overall, two Ivy League field hockey teams tied for first in the standings, as Yale and Princeton each finished with a record of 6-1 en route to being named Ivy League co-champions. The Tigers earned the NCAA Tournament automatic bid thanks to a 3-2 win over the Bulldogs on Sept. 24.

Yale’s Ivy championship was just the second in program history and its first since 1980, when it went 4-0-2 in conference play. The Bulldogs matched the best record in program history, previously set in 2009. Princeton won a share of its 15th League title in the past 17 seasons, including its seventh-straight and 20th overall.

Princeton, which finished the season with a 10-8 overall record, hosted a NCAA play-in game versus Rider. Sydney Kirby scored in the second overtime to lead the Tigers past the Broncs and into the tournament field. Princeton went on to drop a 3-2 NCAA First Round decision at Connecticut. 

After leading the Bulldogs to a share of its first Ivy League title since 1980, Yale’s Erin Carter was named the 2011 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Princeton freshman Allison Evans was named the League’s Rookie of the Year and Dartmouth senior Kelly Hood earned Offensive Player of the Year honors. Hood helped the Big Green to a third-place showing by starting each of Dartmouth’s 17 games, finishing the season with 14 goals and five assists for 33 points. She finished her career as the Big Green’s all-time leader in goals (58) and points (134). Hood, Evans and Carter were each unanimous first-team All-Ivy selections.

Princeton sophomore Amanda Bird was named a second-team All-American. Bird was selected as a first-team All-Ivy and all-region player after scoring nine goals and three assists for 21 points. Hood earned third-team All-American honors.

Welcome To the Ivy League
On June 18, Tjerk van Herwaarden, was named head coach of the Harvard field hockey team. As associate head coach with Maryland, van Herwaarden helped the Terrapins win the NCAA title last season, following up championships in 2005, ’06, ’08 and ’10. He joined the staff as an assistant coach in 2005 and was named the team’s technical director/coach in 2007.

Tiger Returns
Princeton returns four veterans who spent the last year playing with the U.S. Senior National Team in Michelle Cesan, Kathleen Sharkey, Julia Reinprecht and Katie Reinprecht. The Reinprecht sisters made the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team and played at least 40 minutes apiece in each of the six games. Katie Reinprecht was the 2008 and 2009 Ivy League Player of the Year, while Sharkey captured that honor in 2010.

Friday, August 31

New Hampshire at Brown, 3 pm                      
Columbia at Richmond, 4 pm           
Yale at Fairfield, 4:30 pm           
Princeton at Duke, 6 pm           
Dartmouth at Massachusetts, 6 pm          
Cornell at Lock Haven, 7 pm
Lehigh at Penn, 7 pm

Saturday, September 1
Holy Cross at Harvard, 1 pm
Vermont at Brown, 2 pm

Sunday, September 2
North Carolina at Cornell, Noon           
Princeton at Wake Forest, 1 pm           
Columbia at Va. Commonwealth, 1 pm
Quinnipiac at Yale, 1 pm           
Northeastern at Dartmouth, 2 pm
Towson at Penn, 7 pm

Monday, September 3
Sacred Heart at Harvard, 2 pm


The first Player of the Week will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The first Player of the Week will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 4.


Player of the Week
School Last Occurrence Player
Brown November 2, 2010* Leslie Springmeyer
Columbia October 25, 2011 Gabby Kozlowski
Cornell September 6, 2011 Carolyn Horner
Dartmouth October 4, 2011 Lisa Masini
Harvard September 27, 2011 Carly Dickson
Penn September 18, 2007 Kara Bolger
Princeton November 8, 2011 Amanda Bird
Yale November 1, 2011 Erin Carter
Rookie of the Week
Last Occurrence Player
Brown November 1, 2011 Meghan O'Donnell
Columbia October 27, 2009 Gabby Kozlowski
Cornell October 26, 2010 Hannah Balleza
Dartmouth November 8, 2011 Ali Savage
Harvard October 25, 2011 Noel Painter
Penn October 18, 2011 Alex Iqbal
Princeton October 4, 2011 Sydney Kirby
Yale November 9, 2010 Erica Borgo

*Shared honor