LANCASTER, Pa. – The St. Mary’s College of Maryland field hockey team has been selected as the favorite in the 2022 Atlantic East Conference (AEC) Preseason Coaches Poll, released Thursday (Aug. 25). The Seahawks will be entering into their second season of Atlantic East play after joining the league as an affiliate field hockey member in 2020.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by our conference members in the preseason poll. It’s a new year with a new team and we are looking forward to great competition within our conference this season,” seventh-year head coach Jessica Lanham said.

St. Mary’s College on a dominating performance in its first year in the Atlantic East, running the table and outscoring its conference opponents, 20-1, during the regular season. The Seahawks earned the No. 1 seed in the 2021 Atlantic East Championship Tournament, marking a pair of firsts with the program’s first undefeated conference record and their top billing.

After a bye in the quarterfinals, St. Mary’s knocked off fourth-seeded Marywood University, 3-0, in the semifinals before falling 2-1 in double overtime to No. 2 seed Cabrini University in the title game. The Seahawks finished the 2021 campaign with a 10-8 (5-0 AEC) record.

St. Mary’s picked up 31 points as well as four first-place votes to take the top spot in this year’s preseason coaches poll, just one point ahead of second-place Cabrini, the defending Atlantic East champion, and five points ahead of the 2019 Atlantic East champion, Marywood. Gwynedd Mercy rounded out the top-4 with 21 points and one first-place vote. Cabrini garnered the remaining two first-place votes.

Immaculata University, Neumann University, and Manhattanville College, the conference’s newest affiliate member, finished out the preseason poll in fifth, sixth, and seventh place, respectively.

The 2022 Atlantic East Tournament is set to begin with the quarterfinal round on Saturday, October 29, followed by the semifinals on Wednesday, November 2, and the title contest on Saturday, November 5.

The Seahawks begin the new campaign on Thursday, September 1, in York, Pa., taking on York College of Pennsylvania at 6:00 p.m. in non-conference action. 

2022 Atlantic East Field Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. St. Mary’s College31 points (4)
2. Cabrini30 points (2)
3. Marywood26 points
4. Gwynedd Mercy21 points (1)
5. Immaculata19 points
6. Neumann10 points
7. Manhattanville8 points

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