Looking Forward: Field Hockey

With the nation’s third-highest scoring pair and top two scorers in the conference on the forward line, the Vermont field hockey team is poised to tackle the competition.Ten starters return to the turf un?der head coach Nicki Houghton, who was the 2006 America East Coach of the Year. The top scoring duo, senior Dani?elle Collins and junior Maegan Luce, is joined on the forward line by senior Kelly McClintock, who holds the distinction of being the sixth highest scorer in the conference in her own right.Junior starters Kim Striegler, Lau?ren Burke and Jen Angers will take control on the midfield and look to help senior tri-captain Kate Lipton. Senior Lisa Patrick, junior trans?fer Wendy Carbone, sophomore Katie Smith and first year Jenna Horowski will all look to contribute in the mid?field and add versatility to the lineup.Sophomore goalie Kristen Heav?ens will return to goal for the Cats this season. Heavens made 10 starts including eight of the final nine games in 2006 as a red-shirted freshman.The defensive line will also see a solid player in senior tri-captain Betsy Welsh, who as of last season made 39 career starts.”The spring season really helped some returning players evolve in their projected roles and the coaching staff is excited for the fall season and for the development and defining of the 2007 Catamount team,” Houghton said.The Cats take on tough early sea?son challenges, but have already been rewarded with a 1-0 won over num?ber 17 Providence to record the first ever win over a ranked team in the program’s history.”I think our schedule is terrific, yet challenging,” Houghton said. “We are tested throughout September with our non-conference opponents. Three Big East schools, Michigan from the Big 10 and Virginia from the Atlantic Coast Conference.”This level of competition will certainly prepare our team for confer?ence play.”