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Stevens Field Hockey Prepared for 2013 Season; Ducks Open at Home Friday


HOBOKEN, N.J. (August 28, 2013) – The Stevens Institute of Technology field hockey team will open its 2013 season Friday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex against No. 8 Messiah College.


The Ducks are coming off a 2012 season that saw the program’s first-ever Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Mid-Atlantic title, the Empire 8 regular-season title and a trip to the conference final. The Ducks also won 16 games against just seven losses which was the third-most victories in program history and seventh-straight season with double-digit victories.


“Winning the ECAC title last year felt really good, ending the season strong and playing really good hockey” said third-year coach Emily Beach (Hoboken, N.J.). “That said, we were disappointed to not win E8s and get a bid to NCAAs, so we will look to avenge that loss this year and make a run in the NCAA tournament.”


In 2013, Stevens will look to a pair of talented and heralded senior captains in forward Marguerite Chavez (Oceanport, N.J.) and back Megan Traub (Berkeley Heights, N.J.).


Chavez is coming off a 2012 season in which she earned second-team National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-America honors and was a first-team All-Empire 8 selection. She led the team in goals (14), assists (12) and points (40), checking in at No. 2 in the single-season record book in both assists and goals (third in points). Coach Beach and the Ducks will be looking for Chavez to be a positive leader and continue making big plays throughout her final season in Hoboken. They are also hoping she can have an impact all over the field.


Traub is also coming off an incredibly strong season, and will be asked to anchor the Stevens defense this fall after a first-team All-Empire 8 nod in 2012. An extremely important part of Stevens’ penalty corner units on both ends, Traub had 12 goals and five assists for a total of 29 points. She led the team in defensive saves (three), and notched one game-winning goal. The Berkeley Heights native’s experience will help younger members of the defensive unit as they try to minimize shots and penalty corners against.


“Megan and Marguerite have been great leaders thus far, said Beach. “ Megan was a captain for us last year and demonstrated her leadership abilities on and off the field. Marguerite compliments her really well and together I know they will do anything to help this group succeed.”


Senior forward Rachel Chavez (Oceanport, N.J.) played in eight games as a junior before injury cut her season short. The veteran will be making her return to the field after working tirelessly throughout the spring and summer to come back in shape and ready to return to the scoring ways she displayed as a sophomore and early-on in the 2012 season. Chavez led the Ducks with 35 points in 2011, earning all-conference honors and finished with nine points in 2012. She will be key in creating scoring chances all season and also hopes to be one of the team’s top defensive forwards.


Senior back Katie Achilles (Portsmouth, N.H.) is projected as a starter in the Stevens defensive unit for a third-straight year. She has played in and started 39 contests for Stevens since 2011 and has been one of the most consistent members of the back line in that time. A smart player with a strong knowledge of the game, Achilles should have an excellent 2013 season.


Senior back Grace Ridge (Moorestown, N.J.) has worked remarkably hard over the last two years to solidify her place on the field. A big hitter, Ridge will be another key member of the Stevens “D” and offensive penalty corner. As a junior she started 23-of-23 games, netting four goals and handing out one assist. She has solid understanding of the Ducks’ system and with improved communication is primed for a breakout fall.


Senior midfielder Chelsea Cresci (Wilmington, Del.) also started all 23 games for the Ducks last year as the central defensive midfielder. The veteran has quality stick skills and plays under control, allowing her to be a nice distributor to the attacking unit. Cresci had four goals and two assists as a junior, and the coaching staff is hoping to see a rise in those numbers with improved communication and a willingness to take a greater number of shots inside the opposing circle.


“This group of seniors has been through a lot together and they are all committed to ending their careers on a high note,” added Beach.  “They all have a wealth of game experience and will be able to show the younger players the ropes. I’m looking forward to working with them to lead the 2013 Ducks to success.”


Junior midfielder/forward Jillian Fiebel (Roxbury, N.J.) is eyeing another nice season after tallying 32 points on 12 markers and eight helpers in 2012.  A player with good speed and stick skills and a nose for the ball, Fiebel should see time as both an attacking midfielder and forward throughout the year as Beach and the Stevens staff look for the Roxbury native to match her offensive intensity with the same intensity on defense.


Sophomore back Briana DeGraaf (Bayville, N.J.) will be looking to earn an increased role in 2013 as an outside defender and midfielder. One of the hardest workers on the team, the Bayville, N.J. native can be a disruptive force for opposing offenses with her aggressive and tenacious defensive play.


Sophomore midfielder Erin Silvestri (Beverly, Mass.) had an excellent spring and preseason to date, and will be a key as the Ducks look to fill the void left by the graduated Mary Nikish (Pittsford, N.Y.). Silvestri made 11 starts and saw action in 22 games as a rookie, notching three total points. She has nice field awareness along with good speed, also displaying a strong shot that should generate scoring chances for herself and teammates.


Sophomore forward Dailyn Brook (Cherry Hill, N.J.) was tied for the team lead in goals as a freshman with 14 and was second in points with 33. She played in 22 games (19 starts), demonstrating strong instincts and a nose for the back of the net. Athletic with good speed, Brook should only improve this year as both a scorer and all-around field presence with a greater attention to defending.


Sophomore back Angela Bauroth (Rockville, Md.) played in 19 outings as a freshman, making nine starts. Another very hard worker, Bauroth came to camp in great shape and has demonstrated a willingness to do whatever it takes to get on the field. She should see time on the outside of the Stevens defense and midfield in an increased role as the second-year player looks to provide a spark wherever needed.


Sophomore goalkeeper Felicia Heard (Lebanon Valley, N.J.) will be the veteran presence for the Ducks between the pipes. As a freshman, Heard played in three games and did not allow a goal, and will look to take on more of a role this year with improved skills across the board and having better learned the college game.


The other half of a talented duo of young goalkeepers is freshman Emily Stukenborg (Stockholm, N.J.). “We have been working our goalies hard this preseason and the position is still open at the moment,” said Beach. “Emily has good fundamental skills and is extremely athletic.”


In total, five freshmen have joined the roster for 2013 in Stukenborg, midfielder Nolie Prouty (Glendora, Calif.), forward Taylor Welch (Ringwood, N.J.), back Sarah Bryner (Prince Frederik, Md.) and midfielder Maggie Kulpa (Cheshire Conn.).


Coach Beach on Prouty: “Nolie is an athletic midfielder who will challenge for time right away. She came into camp fit and has been working extremely hard. Her skills will lend well to an attacking midfielder role which is something we lost in our graduating class.”


Coach Beach on Welch: “Taylor is a quick forward. She is adjusting quickly to the college game and should notch some goals this season as we look to get her time up front in our attack rotation.”


Coach Beach on Bryner: “Sarah has played mostly defense in the past and we are evaluating her skill set to see exactly where she fits in best with our group. Her work ethic will allow her to make tremendous strides as she continues to adjust to the college level.”


Coach Beach on Kulpa: “Maggie just joined the team as a walk-on, coming from Cheshire, Conn. and a very strong high school program. She will play midfield as we look to get the most out of her excellent athleticism.


Stevens will open the season Friday against eighth-ranked Messiah College at home starting at 3 p.m., kicking off what will be a four-game home stand that closes with the team’s first Empire 8 contest of the year versus Washington & Jefferson College on September 14.


The regular-season closes at No. 15 Swarthmore on November 2 and the Empire 8 Tournament will begin on November 9 at the regular season champ.


“As a team we are focused on winning our in-season conference games and putting ourselves in a position to host the Empire 8 tournament. With a win in that tournament and an NCAA bid we will set our sights on advancing, round by round. When it comes to post season play, any team can win, so it will come down to preparation.  I’m confident in the ability of this team and we have put together a schedule that will allow us to be successful in achieving these goals.”


All Stevens home games will be webcast live at www.Empire8.TV in addition to live stats. Links will be available via on the day of each contest.




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