Last season saw the Hofstra Pride field hockey team go through much success. The team had the second-most victories in a single season in school history (14) and a return to the CAA Championship tournament for the first time since 2012.
The Pride loses three key players in two time All-CAA midfielder Simca Schoen, All-CAA second teamer Charlotte Loehr and key defender Leigh Maxwell-Smith. The three combined for 17 goals and 25 assists.
However, Hofstra returns seven starters and two goalies who both played big minutes. Not only that, they also bring in six freshmen to help off the bench.
Starting at the forwards, the Pride returns the top two scorers in the conference in Claudia Marin Samper and Stella Schoen.
Marin Samper tallied 19 goals, 16 assists to finish with 54 points. Schoen had career-highs of 17 goals, seven assists and 41 points.
Fighting for the third spot are sophomores Madison Suave, Samantha Schlegel, and senior Emily Savage.
With Loehr gone, co-captains Colby Hussong and Emily Gallagher hold down the midfield unit. Both combined for seven goals and seven assists last season.
To add, the depth behind those two is deep. Hofstra has 2015 CAA All-Rookie team pick Madison Reed learning from the two seniors with fellow senior Shannon Dougherty coming back, who logged 19 games last season.
Coach Kathy De Angelis also brings in freshmen Lara Bittel, Madison Warfel, Madison Georgina and Alyssa Kohler.
The backline is probably the Pride’s strongest unit of the team. Carissa Witmer and Taylor Mumley return to their starting positions, helping hold opponents to only 52 goals.
Fighting for the potential third starting spot is up to six different players. Seniors Sauni Davenport, who is coming off a redshirt season after sustaining an injury early last year, and Gillian Kirkpatrick, who has played 51 games at the midfield and defense, bring veteran experience.
Marloes Schavemaker is a graduate-student who comes in with two years of eligibility. She has played in the Dutch women’s club team first division since she was 14 years old. Also competing on the backline are Savanna Malloy, Ashton Boal, Dominique Luxardo and Antoinette Montes.
As the last line of defense, the Pride has some of the most experienced players in Carys Swan, Lauren Saltus and Mia Thompson.
Swan has started 30 games in her career, posting a 2.50 goals against average with 64 saves in 15 games last year. For Saltus, she started all seven of her appearances last year sporting a 2.83 goals against average and being third in the CAA with two shutouts. Thompson redshirted last season.
Hofstra was predicted to finish third in the Colonial Athletic Conference, behind Delaware and James Madison. Delaware is ranked 14th in the nation while James Madison is ranked 19th. The Pride has put up good fights against both teams in the past. The experience they have this year to go along with the fresh faces is just enough to see them upset both top dogs in the conference. Come CAA Tournament time, Hofstra will be heading to the NCAA Tournament.