WATERVILLE, Maine --- With three of the top five scorers returning and some talented newcomers on the roster, the Colby College field hockey team will aim for a New England Small College Athletic Conference playoff bid in 2012.
The Mules, under second-year head coach Tina Cormier, open the season with a NESCAC game Saturday at noon at Connecticut College. Colby plays one of the toughest schedules in the country, with five of the team's 14 regular season games coming against squads ranked in the national top 15.
Colby, which went 4-10 overall last year, will be led by senior captains Lucy Gerrity (Cumberland, Maine) and Lauren Zion (Beverly, Mass.) along with junior captain Natalie Fischer (Freeland, Md.). Gerrity started all 13 games in which she played last year and is capable of playing in the midfield or in back. Zion finished in a tie for fourth on the team in scoring with two goals and one assist, while Fischer started all 14 games, had a team-best two defensive saves, and can play in back or in the midfield.
Seniors Caroline Chessare (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Courtney Erskine (Turner, Maine) were both tied for the team lead in scoring a year ago with three goals and two assists. Chessare returns at forward and Erskine will play in the midfield.
Charlotte Deavers (Huntington Bay, N.Y.) also returns at forward after scoring a pair of goals last year. Erika Johnson (South Pomfret, Vt.), Kaitlyn O'Connell (Danvers, Mass.), and Caitlin Guiney (Concord, Mass.) bring returning forward depth. Misha Strage (Westport, Conn.), Ellie Donohoe (Andover, Mass.), and Megan Fortier (Falmouth, Maine) are first-years looking to make an impact.
While Gerrity and Erskine are both key returners in the midfield, the Mules have other talent. Erin Maguire (Wolfeboro, N.H.), a transfer from Drew University, led the Rangers in assists (7) as a first-year and also had four goals to finish fifth on the squad in scoring while starting 21 games. Caitlin Murray (Chatham, N.J.) started all 14 games last year and is also capable of playing in back. Caroline Keaveney (Greenwich, Conn.) also returns in the midfield, while first-years Grace McVey (Bronxville, N.Y.), Megan Fortier (Falmouth, Maine), and Dana Lewis (Winnetka, Ill.) are newcomers.
Fischer, as a captain, will be a leader on defense for the Mules. Senior Connie Jangro (Reading, Mass.), junior Christina McCourt (Scituate, Mass.), and sophomore Abby Fontaine (Wilbraham, Mass.) will all play in back. Sophomore Kellie Walsh (Andover, Mass.), a transfer from Holy Cross, started all 18 games and had one defensive save for the Crusaders a year ago. Elizabeth Zusi (Summit, N.J.) is a newcomer in back.
Michelle Burt (Woodbridge, Conn.) was the starting goalie for both the field hockey and lacrosse teams last year. She stopped 108 shots last season and played every minute. Sarah Evans (Cohasset, Mass.) is a first-year keeper for the Mules.
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