SEASON PREVIEW: 2019 Field Hockey

SEASON PREVIEW: 2019 Field Hockey

CASTLETON, Vt. -- First-year head coach Charlotte MacDonald leads the Castleton University field hockey team into their second season in the Little East Conference (LEC).

MacDonald, who previously worked as an assistant at Dickinson College in in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, helped coach two All-Conference student-athletes and one All-Region honoree before joining a Castleton squad that made a loud splash in the LEC in 2018.

The team recorded one of the most successful seasons in program history a year ago, finishing with an overall record of 15-5 (11-1 LEC). The Spartans won the regular season title in their inaugural season in the league and hosted LEC Championship weekend. The team survived against Worcester State in the semifinals with an overtime goal from Gabriella Hunt. The season concluded with a trip to the LEC Tournament final and a tight 2-1 loss to Keene State. 

Castleton will open the 2019 season on the road, as it travels to Schenectady, N.Y. to take on Union College. Last season, the Dutchwomen topped the Spartans 5-3 after scoring four unanswered goals in the second half. With nine of the 11 starters returning for the Spartans however, the team looks to finally get over the hump. 

Leading the way for the returning starters is senior forward Cydney Jeffery and junior midfielder Gabriella Hunt. Hunt led all returners with 37 points with 13 goals and 11 assists. Jefferey added eight goals and four assists, while junior forward Loretta Blakeney also brings experience to the table as she scored 14 goals in the 2018 campaign.

"They have a great base from last season of what they wanted to accomplish in terms of team play," Charlotte MacDonald stated. "It's really exciting for me to come in here and shape it a little bit."

Three new freshmen have joined the team in 2019. Forwards Kaitlin Bardellini, Hailey LaClair and goaltender Hope Brown will try to help the Spartans have another successful season. 

The Spartans will begin the season with a three-game road trip beginning with Union, then Morrisville and finish with Middlebury before coming home on September 14 to take on Bridgewater State.