Aug 28, 2014
Grace Wilson and Carly Atchison earned recognition as members of the Preseason All-Patriot League team, but it's the full set of four seniors who will lead the American University field hockey squad into the 2014 season on Friday.
The Eagles, ranked 19th nationally in the preseason poll by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, open the new year at home by playing host to Richmond at 3 p.m.
American then has a brief rest before welcoming ninth-ranked Old Dominion to Jacobs Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Head coach Steve Jennings said he was pleased with the Eagles' preseason training.
"I thought we had a very good preseason," said Jennings, the reigning PL Coach of the Year. "As we sit on the cusp of the opening match, you always wish for things that you had more time for. But fundamentally, we're ready to go."
Instead of considering one aspect of his team as a strength, Jennings said the whole group is coming together.
"The whole unit is a strength," he said. "If you want to be tremendously successful, you have to do it together. We have good speed and good athleticism. We're excited."
Wilson was second on the team in scoring last year with 23 points. She matched the team-high 10 goals of departed All-American Shelly Montgomery.
Atchison was third on the team with 19 points, but had 11 assists to lead the Eagles in that category.
Rebecca Treharne, a second team All-Patriot League selection last year, and forward Kati Rothenhoefer are the other members of the Eagles' senior class.
Richmond was 14-7 last season and 6-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Spiders return senior midfielder Rebecca Barry, who led the team in goals (16) and points (40).
Taylor Deitrick and Emma Johansson, who had 19 points last season, also return for Richmond.