USA Field Hockey's weekly feature of highlighting some of the top college games in Division I, II and III is back for the 2022 season. This week we are highlighting the start of the Division II and III seasons, first with Division II.
Thursday, September 1, 2022
DII: Newberry vs. Pace | 5:00 p.m. ET | FloSports ($)
Newberry opens their 2022 campaign with a matchup against Pace on Thursday evening. This will be the first-ever meeting between the Wolves and Setters.
Pace went 14-6 overall in 2021, posting a 10-4 record in the Northeast-10 (NE10) Conference. The Setters closed the regular season on a seven-game win streak before falling to Assumption, 2-1, in the conference semifinals.
In similar fashion, Newberry saw their season end at the hands of the Southern Atlantic Conference (SAC) Carolinas Champion, Converse, in the semifinal match. Overall, the Wolves went 10-8. Both teams are picked to finish fifth in their respective preseason polls.
DII: No. 2 West Chester vs. No. 4 Assumption | 6:00 p.m. ET | PSAC Network
No. 2 West Chester will begin their fall schedule by hosting No. 4 Assumption on Friday night.
This will be a chance for revenge for Assumption, who went 20-2 last season but lost to West Chester twice. The Greyhounds opened up their 2021 campaign with a narrow overtime loss to the Rams, and saw their season end with a 3-0 loss in the NCAA Semifinal rematch.
Assumption handily won their conference championship last season and claimed the top spot in the preseason poll. West Chester, meanwhile, fell to Shippensburg in both the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship and NCAA Championship and were picked second in the preseason poll.
DII: No. 7 Millersville vs. No. 8 Bentley | 5:00 p.m. ET | Ville Sports Network
No. 7 Millersville and No. 8 Bentley face off for the first time since 2012 on Friday night. Millersville has won all four previous matchups.
The Raiders had a strong 15-4 record last season, with all four losses coming to top-five ranked opponents. Millersville was ranked fifth in the PSAC Preseason Poll – in a group that contains top Division II teams Shippensburg, West Chester and East Stroudsburg.
Bentley, meanwhile, although unable to get past New Haven in the NE10 quarterfinal, received a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Falcons postseason journey was short-lived when they fell 2-1 to East Stroudsburg.
Saturday, September 3, 2022
DII: No. 1 Shippensburg vs. No. 6 Saint Anselm | 12:00 p.m. ET | PSAC Network
Reigning Division II National Champion No. 1 Shippensburg begins their 2022 campaign with their first-ever game against No. 6 Saint Anslem.
After a 14-5 season in 2021, the Hawks were voted to finish second in the NE10 Preseason Poll. Saint Anslem made an appearance in the NCAA Championship match as recently as 2019, when they fell to champion West Chester, 2-1.
The first-place Raiders had a perfect 20-0 season last year, hoisting the trophy for the fourth time in the past five seasons. Shippensburg is the pick to win the PSAC once again under the watchful eye of 2021 Coach of the Year Tara Zollinger.
Sunday, September 4, 2022
DII: No. 3 East Stroudsburg vs. No. 4 Assumption | 1:00 p.m. ET | PSAC Network
No. 3 East Stroudsburg (ESU) welcomes No. 4 Assumption to Whitenight Field on Sunday afternoon.
When the two met in 2019, ESU defeated Assumption in a close 1-0 match to advance to the NCAA Semifinals. Then, in 2021, the Greyhounds evened the field with a 1-0 win early in the regular season.
Despite this early loss, the Warriors ended their 16-5 season in the NCAA Tournament Semifinals, where they lost 2-1 against Shippensburg. All five of ESU’s losses came against ranked opponents, against then-No. 7 Assumption as well as twice to No. 1 Shippensburg and setbacks against No. 2 West Chester and No. 10 Stonehill.
ESU stands at the No. 3 spot in the PSAC Preseason Poll behind Shippensburg and West Chester, having received two first place votes.
Photo Credit: Pace Athletics, Millersville Athletics/Mark Palczewski, ESU Athletics/Jonathan Broady