September 6, 2008

Season Preview: Field Hockey

The season's already started, but I don't see a reason not to still preview the rest of the season. I owe it to them since they were the first team to make cookies for Jesus and I to try to get us to attend their games. I regret not being able to last season.

2007 Record:
18-6-0

In depth:
Overall:
18-6-0
Conference: 5-0-0
Home: 8-1-0
Away:
7-4-0
Neutral: 3-1-0

Their home away from home - Jack Barry Field at MIT - seems to be a comfort zone for BU. This year should be no different, everyone hopes.

Credentials: Last year was the most successful team that field hockey has ever featured - they won the America East, dominated most of their opponents, and made it all the way to the quarterfinals. I know that everyone around the program wants this team to take it one step further this season.

Key Losses:
Sarah Hudak - one of if not the most decorated athletes at BU last year - America East Student-Athlete of the Year, NFHCA Northeast All-Region First Team, the America East All-Conference First Team and the ECAC All-Star Team, America East Defensive player of the year, and a third-team All-American.

Truly awesome. Suus Dekker - a solid midfielder who moved back to Holland to play with the national team - she's that good. Leading scorer Pam Spuehler also has graduated and moved onto greener pastures.

Key Returnees:
Coach Sally Starr - entering her 28th season.

That's like Joe Paterno style right there. They should change Jack Berry Field at MIT to Sally Starr Field and annex it as part of BU. It's got such a nice ring to it, doesn't it? seniors Lizzie Perreault, Holly Wiles, and junior Haley Raobinson all return after starting every game last year. In addition BU will feature Nikki Lloyd - a transfer from Virginia Commonwealth who led the team in scoring in back to back years. Also, a graduate student! Suck it NCAA - Sheena Barry who comes all the way from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Don't forget about the whole goalie core coming back after a stellar season.

Who's Gonna Have To Step Up:
BU transportation.

In order for anyone to attend these games, at MIT, there needs to be adequate shuttles running back and forth from the BU campus to MIT. I would've gone to many more games last year, many more meaning at least one, if I had known there were many shuttles readily available, I'm sure I could've made it to more games. Which players need to step up? Junior Gabby Hajjar - a scorer from last year is going to need to step up her productivity to fill the shoes of the departed.

What The Coaches Think: 2nd? Are you kidding me? This team went yard last year and returns some key members while adding a lot too. They won the league three years in a row. A fourth seems rather inevitable. Here's what the coaches think:

1. Albany (4), 24
2. Boston University (2), 22
3. Vermont, 16
4. New Hampshire, 14
5. Maine, 9
6. Fairfield, 5

BU's ranked 14th in the polls. Albany is 19. Messed up.

A Look Into Some Key 2007 Stats:
- BU outscored opponents 66 to 29. Wow?
- BU outshot their opponents 346 to 185. Again, wow.
- BU had 45 assists to their opponents 23.
- BU had 8 green cards (what the hell is a green card) to theier opponents 12. And 0 to 1 in yellow cards.
- 1,741 people saw BU at home. 3,352 on the road. I hope to change that a bit.
- BU was outsaved by their opponents 148 to 69, but when you look at the shot totals it becomes understandable.

Hot Dog's Predictions: This team's going to make some noise. I see them winning the conference for the fourth time in a row and making it just as far if not further than they did in last years tournament.

- Final Record:
They're 1-1 as of now. They dropped one to Temple (?) today. So, knowing that I will venture to tell you this team will end up 12-6 in the regular season and end up winning the conference. Another BU team has another stacked non-conference schedule. They play number 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 19 in the current polls this season. It's not a very easily road to the tournament by any stretch.

- Final Finish:
Quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. Depending on how well the team is playing I could see them making it to the semis. This team will represent our conference very well.

2008 Schedule:

8/31 - vs. Northwestern (W)
9/6 - @ Temple (L)*
9/7 - @ Delaware*
9/13 - vs. #10 Michigan State
9/14 - vs. Northeastern
9/17 - @ #13 Boston College
9/20 - @ Central Michigan ($)
9/21 - @ #5 Iowa ($)
9/27 - vs. #8 Old Dominion
9/28 - vs. #11 Virginia (%)
10/3 - @ New Hampshire
10/5 - @ #12 Duke
10/11 - vs. Fairfield
10/12 - @ Providence
10/18 - vs. Maine
10/22 - vs. #4 UConn
10/25 - @ #19 Albany
10/29 - vs. Harvard
11/1 - @ Vermont

* - Delaware Tournament
$ - Iowa Tournament
% - at BC (booo)

And so it begins. Or has already begun.

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