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Field Hockey Selected by Coaches as BIG EAST Conference Preseason Favorite

The Huskies, who swept both the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles in 2007, garnered a total of 36 points, including six of seven first-place votes overall.

Syracuse followed UConn as the second-place choice with 27 points, while Louisville (26), Providence (25), Villanova (16), Rutgers (11) and Georgetown (6) rounded out the preseason coaches poll.

UConn senior back Jennifer Kleinhans (Mannheim, Germany) was recognized as the BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and joined teammates Lauren Aird (Harare, Zimbabwe), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) and Meghan Wheeler (Canton, Mass.) on the All-BIG EAST Preseason squad.

The Huskies' four selections were the most any program had named to the all-conference preseason squad.

Connecticut returns nine starters and 19 letterwinners from last season's team that finished 22-3 and advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals for the second consecutive season.

The Huskies open the 2008 season with a preseason tune up at Boston College on Sunday, August 24 beginning at 12:00 p.m. (ET).

Connecticut will close out the preseason schedule with a home contest against Durham University (England) on Wednesday, August 27 at 4:00 p.m. at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex.

The 2008 regular season will begin on Saturday, August 30 against Sacred Heart in a 12:00 p.m. (ET) start at the Sherman Family Sports Complex.

BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Amy Lewis, F/M, Sr., Rutgers

 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Jennifer Kleinhans, B, Sr., Connecticut

All-BIG EAST Preseason Team
*Lauren Aird, F, Sr., Connecticut
Maggie Befort, B, So., Syracuse
Rachel Chamberlain, GK, Jr., Providence
Melissa Gonzalez, F, So., Connecticut
Jennifer Kleinhans, B, Sr., Connecticut

*Jessica Lane, B/M, Sr., Providence
*Amy Lewis, M, Sr., Rutgers
Nellie Poulin, F, Jr., Providence
*Lauren Schaefer, B/M, Sr., Louisville
Meghan Wheeler, M, Sr., Connecticut
*Nicole Youman, M/B, So., Louisville
* - unanimous selection


BIG EAST Field Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll

                           Points         BIG EAST   Overall           Finish
Connecticut (6)         36             5-1         22-3             T1st
Syracuse (1)             27             3-3         12-7             T4th
Louisville                   26             5-1         14-6             T1st
Providence                25             4-2         14-8              3rd
Villanova                   16             3-3         11-7             T4th
Rutgers                     11             1-5         8-11              5th
Georgetown                6              0-6         2-15              6th