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NE-10 Welcomes New Haven Field Hockey

Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

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This fall University of New Haven Athletics will welcome field hockey as the newest Division II sport. After competing as a club team for several years, field hockey will be joining the tough NE-10 Conference as a rookie team looking to make some noise.

The Chargers will become the 14th Field Hockey team of the NE-10 Conference that currently features five of the top-10 teams in the nation and a representative in the national championship game the last 17 years. The team will also be the fourth women’s program added in the last 25 years within University athletics.

The newest Chargers team consist of six freshmen, five sophomores, one junior, and three seniors. The Chargers will be led by first time head coach Kelsi Lykens.

Lykens started coaching at her alma mater West Chester State University, where she helped win a conference championship as an assistant coach in 2014. Lykens then moved onto Sacred Heart where she was responsible for recruiting, scheduling, film breakdown, practice preparation, and travel planning.

As a player, she earned back-to-back Division II All-America first team accolades in 2012 and 2013. She also adds Division II Field Hockey Athlete of the Year and two Division II National Championships to her impressive resume. Lykens will look to use her past accolades and coaching experience to help this in experienced squad get to an elite level. It may take some time, but it looks like our newest Chargers are in good hands for now.   

Field hockey will open up their 13- game slate at home on Saturday, September 2 at 4 p.m. against Franklin Pierce. Last season, Franklin Pierce went winless in the NE-10 Conference (0-12) and only won three games overall (3-14). By the looks of it, the inaugural game should be a warmup for the Chargers to see what they are up against in the new level of competitive.

They will look to gain some chemistry and develop a trust amongst one another, and see what they could do in an actual game. The Chargers first challenge of the season will come Sept. 9 on the road against defending NE-10 conference champion, LIU Post. By the end of this game, the Chargers should know where they stand in the conference having played the worst and best team, respectively, based on the 2016 standings.

They will then continue their season with Assumption (9/13), Limestone (9/16), Stonehill (9/17), American International (9/23), Pace (9/28), Adelphi (10/4), Saint Anselm (10/7), Southern New Hampshire (10/21), Lindenwood (10/23), Mercy (10/25), and Bentley 10/27).

The Chargers schedule will consist of eight home games and five road games. All home games will be played on the blue turf of Dellacamera Stadium.

Overall, it is going to be exciting to see what this team brings to the table. With any new team, there is going to be growing pains, but over the course of the season we will be able to see how this team handles adversity and success, respectively.

As a student fan base, the campus community should all be excited for this new experience and this great opportunity to witness such a unique sport.

Good luck to Field Hockey and go Chargers!       

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NE-10 Welcomes New Haven Field Hockey