DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. (Aug. 28, 2017) – The Mercy College field hockey team begins their 2017 season on Friday, September 1st at Belmont Abbey College at 3pm. The Mavericks begin their quest to make the ECAC Tournament in back-to-back years and look to improve on their school-record win total from a year ago.
Second-year head coach Deirdre O'Neill and the Mavericks will look to improve upon a school record seven wins in 2016 and qualifying for the post season for the first time in program history. The squad will look to do so as they record 16 returners. O'Neill also brings in a five-member recruiting class that will look to bring great strength. The Mavericks will look to make an appearance in the ECAC Tournament at season's end with the top four teams in the conference standings making the tournament held at Lindenwood University.
"I am looking forward to what this season will bring for Mercy College Field Hockey," stated O'Neill. "I am confident that we will bring our skills and success to the next level this season. This group of girls has the passion and drive to take this program to great heights. It has been a great preseason so far and I am very excited to see the successes that we will have this season."
Leading the Mavericks offense will be junior Angela Robbins. Robbins added four goals and two assists last season for a total of 10 points. She was named ECAC Field Hockey League Offensive Player of the Week for the Week of October 30 after recording two goals in the 3-1 victory over Newberry College to secure an ECAC Field Hockey League Tournament spot.
Another force in the front field will be junior Alicia Williams who recorded six goals and one assist last season for a total of 13 points. Williams earned Rookie of the week honors three times her freshman year and recorded two game winning goals in the 2016 season.
The incoming class is led by Bianca Cano and Samantha Perez who will look to make an immediate impact offensively for the Mavericks. Cano comes from West Milford, New Jersey and brings athleticism and good stick stills to the table for O'Neill. Perez joins the squad from Port Jefferson Station, New York and her relentlessness all over the field will allow her to attack the goal and set up scoring opportunities to benefit the Mavericks offense.
The Mavericks midfield will be led by senior Kimberly Sands who returns to action after suffering a knee injury last season. Sands played in 15 of 16 games in the 2015 season and led the team in game-winning goals with two. Sands ended the 2015 season with three goals and an assist and will look to improve on those numbers in 2017.
Sophomore Catherine Brudi also comes back this season after appearing in all 20 games last season, earning nine starts. Brudi will help to control the middle of the field. Her strong skill set, endurance, and communication will help the Mavericks in the midfield. Brudi ended last season with one assist for one point.
Also returning to the midfield will be Sabrina Anderson. Anderson saw action in 15 games for the Mavericks last season, while recording two shots and one shot on goal. Her ability to make quick decisions and see the field will help control the ball in the midfield.
Leading the freshman class is Kellie Znaniecki, who looks to contribute in her first season on campus. Znaniecki is a native of Port Jefferson Station, New York and O'Neill will look to utilize her in the midfield to give depth on the field.
The Mavericks defense will be led by two returners in junior Kayly Bryan and senior Rachel Gumowski. Bryan returns after seeing action in 18 games for the Mavericks. Bryan recorded one defensive save and dished out three assists in the 2016 season. Gumowski also returns to the Mavericks back line after earning ECC Defensive Honorable Mention awards for the 2016 season. Gumowski started all 20 games for Mercy and led the team with four defensive saves, a total that finished No. 14 in Division II.
Also, returning on defense is junior Marissa Spinazzola and sophomores Haley Jandris, Rebecca Podskoch, and Samantha Lorenc. O'Neill will look to build upon the strong Mavericks returning defense. Mercy will add freshman Brooke Anthony to the defensive side of the field. Anthony's quick nature will help to shift the ball up and across the field.
Junior Cheradyn Pettit returns to the cage for the Mavericks after recording 102 saves last season and sporting a .750 save percentage. Pettit recorded a career-high 18 saves against Limestone College last season. Pettit recorded double digits in saves on four occasions last season.
Also in net for the Mavericks is junior Julia Amell who will look to improve off her four wins last season. Amell was named ECAC Division II Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week and NFHCA Defensive Player of the Week Honorable Mention after recording seven saves in her first career shutout against Limestone College.