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UMW Field Hockey Season Preview: Eagles Look to Remain Strong with 10 Returning Starters

UMW Field Hockey Season Preview: Eagles Look to Remain Strong with 10 Returning Starters

The University of Mary Washington field hockey team enters the 2017 season coming off a 12-6 season last fall in which they advanced to the CAC Championship game for the third time in the past five years, and was ranked as high as 12th in the nation. UMW loses just one senior to graduation in All-America midfielder Christine Loehr.

Among the returnees up front are All-CAC and VaSID state College Division Rookie of the Year Lauren Hopkins (14 goals, 12 assists) and fellow sophomore Lexie Dixson, who gained All-CAC honors after scoring nine goals and three assists. Senior Morgan LaRowe posted 10 goals and a pair of assists up front as well.

All-CAC senior Allegra Massey-Elim (10 goals, six assists) heads a midfield that includes senior Erin Kaila and senior Noor Varjabedian. Defensively, the Eagles return a unit that allowed one goal or less in 10 contests. Returning starters Gillian Ross, Allysa Bilkovsky, and Mackenzie Burnett will strengthen a unit in front of junior goalkeeper Jessica Cavolt, who posted 79 saves and a 1.97 goals against average.

"We are excited for the 2017 season to get started", said UMW head coach Lindsey Barbacow, who enters her seventh season with a 90-26 career record." We have a large group of starters returning and a great group of freshman who are stepping up already.  We have another challenging schedule this year, with several of them being nationally ranked.  It is our hopes to return to the CAC Championship and hopefully get back to the NCAA tournament."

The Eagles will face a daunting schedule with four games against teams ranked in last season's final national poll, opening the season against 15th ranked Rochester, and facing eighth-ranked Franklin & Marshall on September 9 away, third ranked Tufts at home on September 23, and hosting number two Salisbury on October 21.