Ball State Favored In Mid-American Conference Field Hockey Poll

Updated 8/26/1999
CLEVELAND (August 26) -- Six-time defending regular season champion Ball State is picked to claim the Mid-American Conference field hockey title again in 1999 as the Cardinals received 35 of a possible 36 points in the coaches preseason poll, announced by the league office.

In the 17 years that the MAC has sponsored field hockey, the Cardinals have won the regular season title 15 times and 11 tournament crowns, but had their string snapped at five consecutive postseason titles last year in a 5-0 loss to Kent.

In this year's poll, Ball State received five of six first-place votes, while last year's tournament champion Kent received the remaining first-place vote and 30 points to finish second in the preseason poll.

Ball State, which presently has a string of 59 straight MAC regular season victories, return a pair senior first-team all-MAC performers in Sally Northcroft and Kerri Schoultz, who garnered first- and third-team all-America honors, respectively, last year.

Northcroft, who scored a school-record 34 goals in 1998, was named the MAC Player of the Year and finished second in the nation in goals scored and scoring average. Schoultz, meanwhile, finished third in the league in assists (19) and holds the school's career mark in assists (44).

Meanwhile, Kent returns first-team all-MAC forward Maggie Downey and second-team defender Laura Meckley. Downey, who was a second-team all-American choice, was second in the conference in assists (26) and third in points (56), while Meckley helped anchor the league's top defense.

The third selection in the preseason poll is Ohio, which edged Central Michigan in the poll with 20 points. Central Michigan has 18 points for fourth, while Louisville (13 points) and Miami (10) complete the poll.

1999 MAC Field Hockey
Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Ball State (5) -- 35 points
2. Kent (1) -- 30
3. Ohio -- 20
4. Central Michigan -- 18
5. Louisville -- 13
6. Miami -- 10

() indicates first-place votes