The University of Scranton field hockey team is slated to finish fifth in the 2017 Landmark Conference Preseason Poll, which was released by the conference office on Friday morning.
Leading the poll are two teams - Elizabethtown and Catholic - who share the number one spot in the ranking with each collecting 62 total points. Elizabethtown garnered four first place votes, while Catholic collected three first place tallies.
Coming in third in the poll is Susquehanna with 48 total points (and a first place vote), followed by Goucher in fourth with 29 points. Scranton comes in fifth with 27 points, as Juniata (23 points), Drew (14 points) and Moravian (7 points) round out the poll.
The Royals, led by head coach Colleen Moyer who is entering her 13th season as head coach in 2017, will look to bounce back this season after going 5-12 overall in 2016, along with a 2-5 mark in the Landmark Conference. Scranton also missed the Landmark Playoffs in '16 for the first time since 2010, breaking a streak of five straight appearances in the field.
Scranton will look to get back in the playoff picture in the Landmark Conference with a roster full of experienced players (17 returnees), along with a crop of newcomers (11 total).
Leading the group of returnees are seniors Meredith Campbell (Media, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) and Jessica Kaplowitz (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central). Campbell will lead the offense, as she comes off an All-Landmark Conference First Team season in 2016 where she led the Royals in scoring with 10 goals. Kaplowitz, meanwhile, will lead the defense, as she also comes off an All-Landmark Conference season in 2016, where she earned Second Team honors for the first time in her career.
The Royals will open their season on Friday, September 1, as they host Muhlenberg at Fitzpatrick Field beginning at 4 p.m. This will be the first of nine home games at Fitzpatrick Field throughout the year, as Scranton kicks-off Landmark Conference play on Sept. 23 at Moravian.
To view the full 2017 University of Scranton field hockey schedule, click here.