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Field Hockey the Favorite in Commonwealth
Posted: 8/26/2011
Field Hockey ranks #1 in the Commonwealth preseason poll. The Falcons hope to celebrate a fifth straight Conference Championship later this season.

Grantham, PA – It’s three of a kind for the Falcons this fall season, as Messiah field hockey followed both men’s and women’s soccer in being named preseason favorite in the Commonwealth Conference (Video - Messiah and Commonwealth feature follows Freedom).

The program took home five first-place votes to edge rival Lebanon Valley College for total points in the poll, 35-32. Though the two first-place votes received by Lebanon Valley precluded the Falcons from a unanimous selection, like those received by men’s and women’s soccer earlier in the week, Messiah will humbly accept the favored nod by its peers from around the conference.

The Falcons will also look to keep such favor in the standings throughout the season, as they look to earn their fifth consecutive Commonwealth Conference Championship and 18th in program history. This season, the Falcons will also be in pursuit of an NCAA Division III National Championship after competing in the Final Four for each of the past two seasons under the guidance of head coach Jan Trapp. Last year, the season ended for Messiah in a 2-1 loss to Bowdoin College in the Championship game.

Trapp, in her 39th year as head coach of the program, has led to the team to a total of 14 Division III Final Fours and eight National Championship games in her tenure. Though the Championship crown has eluded the program thus far, this season starts with the new hope of a grand finish.

The Falcons of 2011 return two All-Commonwealth players, senior Kourtney Ehly and sophomore Gina Kellet. The team will also welcome five newcomers to a roster that returns five of their top seven points leaders from a year ago. The talented roster surely played a large role in the preseason vote, and the Falcons hope to support the poll with success on the field. Such winning ways have come to be expected from Trapp’s program, as she currently places third on the all-time victories list for field hockey coaches in NCAA I, II, and III.

Messiah will open the 2011 campaign by hosting SUNY-Cortland (NY) on Saturday, Sept. 3.

2011 Commonwealth Conference Field Hockey Preseason Poll
1. Messiah 35 pts. (5)
2. Lebanon Valley 32 pts. (2)
3. Elizabethtown 24 pts.
4. Alvernia 22 pts.
5. Widener 17 pts.
6. Albright 10 pts.
7. Arcadia 7 pts.