BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh field hockey team was predicted fourth in the Patriot League preseason poll released Monday while senior Kim Eng and junior Sierra Segear were named to the inaugural preseason All-League team. The Mountain Hawks finished last season with a 3-2 league mark (their best finish since 2007) while earning the #3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Lehigh returns all four of its All-Patriot League performers from that team while welcoming 12 freshmen.
American was predicted first with 47 points followed by Lafayette (45), Bucknell (33), Lehigh (24), Colgate (19) and Holy Cross (12). The Bison defeated American twice last season, including in the Patriot League Semifinals. The Mountain Hawks picked up a big 1-0 Senior Day win over Bucknell, propelling them to the #3 seed.
Both Eng and Segear were honored on the first-ever preseason All-Patriot League team after being named First Team honorees last season. It marked the second time Eng was a First Team member after a sensational freshman campaign when she posted 34 points (13 goals, eight assists) as the league’s Rookie of the Year. Eng enjoyed a stellar bounce back performance last season, leading the team with 24 points via 10 goals and four assists.
Segear was named Patriot League Goalie of the Year in her first-career action, becoming Lehigh’s first major award winner since Eng in 2009. Segear was named Patriot League Goalie of the Week three times in a season that featured 11 double-digit save performances. She finished the season with a 77.4 save percentage and 3.57 GAA. Her highlight game came against Bucknell when she made 15 saves for her first-career shutout while she posted a career-high 22 saves vs. Rider.
The Mountain Hawks continue hard at work in preseason practice in preparation for their season-opener this Saturday vs. Ball State. Gametime is set for 12 p.m. at Ulrich Field. Lehigh will finish a busy weekend on Sunday when it welcomes Liberty at 1 p.m.
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Patriot League Field Hockey Preseason Poll
1. American (7 first-place votes) 47 points
2. Lafayette (5) 45
3. Bucknell 33
4. Lehigh 24
5. Colgate 19
6. Holy Cross 12
Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Deanna DiCroce, Lafayette (Sr., F)
Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Gina Hofmann, American (Sr., D)
Field Hockey Preseason All-Patriot League Team
Gina Hofmann, American (Sr., D)
Alex McMackin, American (Jr., F)
Shelly Montgomery, American (Jr., M)
Rachel Misko, Bucknell (Jr., F)
Vickie Resh, Bucknell (Jr., M)
Lindsay MacPhail, Holy Cross (Jr., M/D)
Brittany Blass, Lafayette (So., M)
Deanna DiCroce, Lafayette (Sr., F)
Emily Valeo, Lafayette (Sr., M/D)
Kim Eng, Lehigh (Sr., F)
Sierra Segear, Lehigh (Jr., GK)