PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The BIG EAST Conference released its 2014 Preseason All-BIG EAST selections and coaches' poll for field hockey on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Graduate student Caitlin Malone (Ossining, N.Y.) and seniors Henni Tietze (Sankt Augustin, Germany) and Daniella Bernasconi (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) represent Providence College as members of the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. Malone and Tietze were unanimous selections, having earned votes from each of the league's head coaches.
Providence and Connecticut led the way with three selections each on the 11-player preseason team. Temple and Old Dominion each featured two preseason honorees, while Villanova rounded out the list with one selection. Providence also was picked to finish fourth in the BIG EAST Field Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Malone returns to the field for her fourth and final season of eligibility with Providence College as a graduate student. Malone is a two-time All-BIG EAST selection, having earned First-Team honors in 2013 and Second-Team recognition in 2012. During her three seasons with the Friars, she has played 48 games and has recorded 33 points on 10 goals and 13 assists. Her 13 career assists are tied for 25th all-time at Providence. Malone also is a two-time NFHCA Division I All-Northeast Region Second-Team selection (2012, 2013) and was named Providence College Female Athlete of the Year in 2014.
Tietze earns Preseason All-BIG EAST honors for the third-consecutive year as the Friars' center-back. She also has earned post-season honors from the league during each of her previous three seasons with the program. She earned All-BIG EAST First-Team recognition in 2012 and is a two-time Second-Team honoree (2011, 2013). Tietze has played 54 career games and has appeared in the starting line-up 50 times. She owns 45 career points on 18 goals and nine assists. Her 45 points ranks 30th all-time in program history and she is tied for 25th all-time in career goals.
Bernasconi had a breakout season as a junior in 2013, and earned All-BIG EAST and NFHCA Division I All-Northeast Region Second-Team honors. She led the Friars in scoring with 32 points on 15 goals and two assists. Bernasconi's 15 goals and 32 points are the most by a Friar in a single-season since 2008. That year, two-time All-American Nellie Poulin `10 notched 16 goals and 33 points. She finished the season tied for 14th in the nation in goals per game (0.83). She also ranked sixth in the BIG EAST Conference in points (32), fourth in goals (16) and sixth in points per game (1.78). After three seasons, Bernasconi ranks 26th on the Friars' all-time scoring list with 50 points on 24 goals and two assists. Her 24 goals rank 24th all-time at Providence.
Providence has been picked to finish fourth in the BIG EAST Conference in 2014 and earned 14 points in the coaches' poll. The Friars return 15 players from the 2013 campaign, including nine members of the starting line-up. The team also adds six newcomers to the roster heading into the upcoming season.
Connecticut, who captured the 2013 BIG EAST Tournament title and NCAA Championship crown, sits atop the preseason poll with 25 points and accumulated five first-place votes. Old Dominion is second in the poll (21 points; one first-place vote), followed by Temple (16 points). Villanova (nine points) and Georgetown (five points) round out the preseason rankings.
The top-four teams in the final regular-season standings will earn a berth to the 2014 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship, scheduled for Nov. 7-9. The tournament is scheduled to be held at Lennon Family Field on the campus of Providence College in Providence, R.I. The winner of the 2014 BIG EAST Championship will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Friars open the 2014 regular-season schedule against the University of Vermont on Aug. 29 at Noon in Burlington, Vt. Providence will host Boston College in its home opener on Sept. 5 at Lennon Family Field in Providence, R.I. (7:00 p.m.).
BIG EAST PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Rosario Villagra, Sr., F/M, Old Dominion
BIG EAST PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR *Roisin Upton, Jr., M, Connecticut
PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST TEAM Daniella Bernasconi, Sr., F, Providence *Lizzy Millen, Sr., GK, Temple *Henni Tietze, Sr., D, Providence *Roisin Upton, Jr., M, Connecticut Maddy Harding, Sr., D, Villanova *Chrissy Davidson, Sr., M, Connecticut *Kelsey Smither, Sr., M/D, Old Dominion *Caitlin Malone, Grad., M, Providence *Chloe Hunnable, Sr., F, Connecticut *Rosario Villagra, Sr., F/M, Old Dominion *Amber Youtz, Sr., F, Temple
* unanimous selection
2014 BIG EAST FIELD HOCKEY PRESEASON COACHES' POLL 1 Connecticut (5) 25 2 Old Dominion (1) 21 3 Temple 16 4 Providence 14 5 Villanova 9 6 Georgetown 5
first-place votes in parentheses
- GO FRIARS! -
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