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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The Boston University field hockey team was selected first in the 2016 Patriot League Field Hockey Preseason Poll when the League office announced the results of voting by League Coaches and sports information directors on Tuesday afternoon. The Terriers claimed its second-straight Patriot League Championship last season, going on to defeat Fairfield in the NCAA Play-In Round, before falling to No. 1 seed North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament First Round.

Boston University received a total of 69 points and nine first-place votes, while 2015 League runner-up American received 64 points and four first-place votes to finish second. Boston U. and AU have played for the League Championship in each of the last three seasons, with the Eagles last claiming the title in 2013. Lafayette received one first-place vote and 48 points, followed by Bucknell (43), Holy Cross (31), Lehigh (26) and Colgate (13).

BU features three Preseason All-Patriot League selections, including Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Hester van der Laan (Sr., M), a three-time All-League honoree and one of five unanimous selections on the squad. Ellie Landsman earned Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, while senior forward Amanda Cassera joins her teammates on the preseason team. American’s Natalie Konerth (Sr., F) and Rafaela Rubas (So., M), the 2015 Rookie of the Year, Lafayette’s Amanda Magadan (Sr., F/M) and Lehigh’s Teresa Carotenuto (So., F) were all unanimous selections.

Amy Mucelli (Sr., M), a three-time All-League selection from Bucknell and her teammate, 2015 First Team selection Anna Wills (Sr., D), join Lafayette’s 2015 Second Team selection Ellen Colbourne (Jr., M/F) on the squad. Lafayette’s Katelyn Arnold and Colgate’s Maria Krull tied for the goalkeeper spot on the team. The two tied for a spot on the League’s second team in 2015.

Boston University (15-7, 6-0 Patriot League) has played in the PL Championship Game each season since joining the League for the 2013 season and will be favored to go back again in 2016. Despite the loss of last season’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, Sally Starr’s squad returns three all-League performers, including van der Laan (7 goals, 5 assists), Cassera (7 g) and senior forward Taylor Blood 5 g, 4 a). They also return Bea Bamberger, who led the PL with 14 assists.

American (12-7, 5-1 PL) returns nine players that started 10 or more games last season, led by Konerth (10 g, 12 a) and Rubas (11 g, 6 a), the PL Rookie of the Year. Steve Jennings’s young, talented squad will feature just four seniors, but is expected to challenge BU for the League title. Sophomore defender Angela Virtu (1 g, 2 a) returns after starting every game as a freshman.

Lafayette (9-10, 3-3 PL) will look to Magadan (10 g, 5 a), who earned a spot on the U-21 USA Field Hockey Junior World Cup Team this summer, to continue to spark the squad on offense. She will get help from senior midfielder Ami Turner (4 g, 6 a) and junior midfielder Ellen Colbourne (1 g, 6 a). Arnold returns in the cage after averaging 4.84 saves per game last season to earn Second Team All-Patriot League honors for Jennifer Stone’s Leopards.

Bucknell (8-11, 3-3 PL) pushed eventual champion Boston University to double-overtime in a League semifinal contest last season and return a strong core led by all-League selections Wills and Mucelli. Returning leading-scorer Nicole Rupnik (7 g, 1 a) will need help replacing the scoring output of Kiersten Sydnor, who finished second in the PL with 15 goals last season. Junior defender Stephanie Dressler (2 g, 3 a) also returns for Jeremy Cook’s squad.

Holy Cross (8-10, 2-4 PL) returns its top two scorers from last season with junior forward Maureen Connolly (10 g, 7 a) and sophomore midfielder Emily Loprete (10 g, 1 a) back after starting each game last season. Seniors Lauren Sutherland and Kathryn Nutting also return and will be counted on to help break in a new starter in the cage.

Lehigh (5-13, 2-4 PL) will be under the direction of new head coach Caitlin Dallmeyer, who will have five of the team’s top-six scorers back from 2015. Carotenuto (11 g), an all-League selection as a freshman, returns and will be joined by will be back for her second season and will be joined by two-time all-League selection Marissa Glatt (3 g) and senior Gabby Tofig (2 g, 3 a).

Colgate (0-15, 0-6 PL) looks to bounce back after a challenging season, but will have Second Team All-League goalkeeper Maria Krull back in the fold. Krull led the League with 11.50 saves per game and a .752 save percentage last season. Seniors Emily Brash (2 g) and Whitney Jones also return after starting each game last season.

2016 Patriot League Field Hockey Preseason Poll:
1. Boston University, 69 points (9 first-place votes)
2. American, 64 (4)
3. Lafayette, 48 (1)
4. Bucknell, 43
5. Holy Cross, 31
6. Lehigh, 26
7. Colgate, 13

2016 Patriot League Field Hockey Preseason All-League Team
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Hester van der Laan, Sr., M, Boston Univ.
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Ellie Landsman, Sr., M, Boston Univ.

Natalie Konerth, American (Sr., F)*
Rafaela Rubas, American (So., M)*
Amanda Cassera, Boston Univ. (Sr., F)
Ellie Landsman, Boston Univ. (Sr., M)
Hester van der Laan, Boston Univ. (Sr., M)*
Amy Mucelli, Bucknell (Sr., M)
Anna Wills, Bucknell (Sr., D)
Maria Krull, Colgate (Jr., GK) #
Katelyn Arnold, Lafayette (Sr., GK) #
Ellen Colbourne, Lafayette (Jr., M/F)
Amanda Magadan, Lafayette (Sr., F/M)*
Teresa Carotenuto, Lehigh (So., F)*

* unanimous selection
# tie in voting