(Posted August 21, 2007)

MADISON, N.J. - The Juniata College field hockey team has been picked as the favorite in the first season of play in the Landmark Conference, as chosen in the Landmark Preseason Field Hockey Poll. The head coaches and sports information directors for the seven Landmark programs that compete in field hockey were polled, and Juniata claimed the top spot with 60 points. The University of Scranton and The Catholic University of America were tied for second with 50 points apiece. Susquehanna University rounded out the top four, and were followed by Drew University, Moravian College and Goucher College respectively. Juniata reached the NCAA Tournament for the second time in its history a season ago, and bring back leading goal scorer Kim Wagner (Sr., F, Middletown, Pa./Middletown), who tallied 31 goals and six assists for 68 points, and goalkeeper Abby Funk (Jr., G, Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg), who finished the season with a 0.98 goals against average with a .824 save percentage. Both players earned All-Conference recognition in 2006. Juniata was picked to finish first on each of the preseason ballots. A capsule look at the remaining teams in the Landmark Conference poll: Catholic claimed their regular season conference championship last year, and closed the year with a record of 13-8. Three All-Conference performers, including the conference Rookie of the Year, will be back in the fold for the Cardinals. Scranton enjoyed an 11-9 season last year, and will bring back three All-Conference performers from that team. The Royals reached the finals of their conference postseason tournament in 2006 and have nine starters overall back in the mix from that squad. Susquehanna went 5-11 in 2006 under a first-year head coach and finished with 34 points in the balloting. The Crusaders lost six players to graduation, but return their top two point producers from last season, along with an All-Conference defender and their starting goalkeeper. With 25 points in the poll an experienced roster will lead Drew in the 2007 season as the squad features eight seniors. The Rangers were 3-14 in 2006 but bring back all but two players from that team, and have a returning All-Region player on the squad. Also bringing back their leading goal scorer is Moravian which finished the 2006 season with a record of 4-15 and earned 23 points to place sixth in the poll. Two seniors were lost to graduation, but the Greyhounds' roster features nine returning starters and as many as 19 returning letterwinners. Goucher secured 11 points in the voting and will rely on a veteran roster to try and rebound from a 1-14 campaign in 2006. The Gophers lost a pair of All-Conference players, but will still have nine returning starters back on the field this season, including their starting keeper. The Landmark Conference begins competition this fall and will host a postseason conference championship tournament. The first regular season conference match in Landmark history will be September 21 as Susquehanna hosts Scranton at 7 p.m. -30-

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.