LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's field hockey team opens the 2018 season ranked fourth in the nation and looking to return to the national stage after a dominant performance that took the team to the Final Four last year.
With eight starters returning, the reigning Centennial Conference (CC) Champions are set for another stellar campaign with sights set on a fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
To watch the season preview video, click here.
Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
F&M vs. Kean | Selinsgrove, Pa. | 3:00 PM
Series Record: Tied 1-1
Streak: F&M +1
Last F&M Victory: 2-0, Oct. 12, 2017
Last Kean Victory: 2-0, Sept. 9, 2005
Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018
F&M vs. Susquehanna/Wilkes
Consolation Game – 1:00 PM, Championship – 3:00 PM
Players to Watch
F&M returns 19 players to the lineup, including a five-member senior class who played in every game last season. The Diplomats added four first-years to the roster who have the potential to become significant contributors to the team over the next four years.
The Diplomats graduated six seniors who were impact players, that competed in the NCAA Tournament for all four years on campus. F&M will need to replace the production of three starters, including All-American Annie Horsley and All-CC honorees in Sarah Schannauer and Sydney Cole.
To watch the 2018 video roster, click here.
Coverdale comes back after a dominant sophomore campaign, earning All-America First-Team status and leading the Conference in goals (16), assists (7), and points (39). She is joined in the upper third with Nagle (12 goals) and Lily Mynott (six goals).
Santangelo returns for her fourth year in the cage after leading the CC in goals-against average last season (0.87). Francis and Caitlin Morrissey remain as dominant outside backs, helping to anchor a defense that ranked ninth last season in goals-against average (0.89) among all DIII programs.
NFHCA National Coaches Poll
The Diplomats open the season ranked No. 4 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III Poll after making it to the Final Four for the first time since 1983 last year. Reigning Champion, Middlebury, was picked to finish first, followed by last year's finalist Messiah. The College of New Jersey took the third spot.
The full top-20 list can be found here.
CC Preseason Poll
After taking home their second CC Title, the Diplomats were picked to finish first in the Preseason poll of Conference coaches with 97 total points and seven first-place votes. Johns Hopkins followed with 89 (4), then Ursinus with 86 points. Haverford was slated fourth with 65 and Washington College rounded out the top-five with 60.
The complete CC Preseason poll can be viewed here.
The Road Ahead
Field hockey begins its 2018 season with a rematch of last year's NCAA Elite Eight contest against Kean on Friday, Aug. 31 at the Connie Harnum Classis Tournament in Selinsgrove. The Diplomats' home opener is set for Wednesday, Sept. 5 against FDU-Florham, while the opening Centennial Conference (CC) match is against Muhlenberg in Allentown on Saturday, Sept. 15. Johns Hopkins comes to town on Saturday, Oct. 27th at 12:00 p.m. when F&M celebrates Homecoming and Family Weekend with a rematch of last year's CC Title contest.
CC Playoffs get underway with the First Round on Wednesday, Oct. 31, while the Final is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 4. An F&M return to the NCAA Final Four would occur much closer to home in 2018 as Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim was selected to host this year's final weekend on Nov. 17-18.
Record Book Watch
Santangelo enters her final year highly ranked in many categories, including goals against average (first – 0.83), wins (second – 46), shutouts (fourth – 21), and saves (11th- 182).
Centennial Conference Digital Network (CCDN)
The Centennial Conference announced a partnership with Stretch Internet to become the conference's digital network provider and establish a central location for all CC athletic events. Broadcasts that are present in the Stretch portal are exclusively produced by each of the 11-member institutions of the conference.
In addition to its Roku channel, the Conference has three new over-the-top (OTT) applications to make broadcasts available – Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android TV. Home broadcasts that are produced by all 11 members will be available on CentennialConference.TV and the OTT apps.
Follow Along (Social Media)
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.