LEWISBURG, Pa. – Two Bucknell field hockey players were named Preseason All-Patriot League and the Bison were picked to finish third in the conference in a poll of the league’s coaches and sports information directors, as released by the conference office on Tuesday.
Senior Stephanie Dressler and junior Nicole Rupnik each made the 11-player Preseason All-League Team for the first time. The duo helped the Bison finish 9-9 last season and qualify for the Patriot League Tournament for a ninth consecutive season.
Dressler ranked second on the team last season with 14 points on five goals and four assists. Two of the goals were game-winners, including one in overtime as part of a two-goal performance in a 3-2 win over Quinnipiac. She was honored with Defensive Player of the Week honors after scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-0 win over Lafayette and helping the Bison make it back-to-back shutouts with a 3-0 victory over Lock Haven.
Dressler enters her final season with 23 points on seven goals and nine assists. She is a two-time member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and two-time member of the NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad.
Rupnik was the team leader in both points (18) and goals (8) while also adding a pair of assists last season. Her offensive production was bolstered by a stretch of three straight games with a goal, coming against Albany, Penn State, and Lehigh. She stepped up big in league play, contributing four goals and one assist in six games.
For her career, Rupnik has tallied 33 points on 15 goals and three assists through her first two seasons. She is a one-time Academic All-Patriot League selection, two-time Patriot League Academic Honor Roll recipient and two-time member of the NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad. In addition she was named a NFHCA Division I Scholar of Distinction for posting a perfect 4.0 GPA during the fall semester of her freshman season.
American, led by Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Rafaela Rubas, received 11 first-place votes and was picked to win the conference with 71 points. Boston University finished second in the poll with 62 points and three first-place votes and had Ally Hammel named as Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Bucknell was third in the poll with 49 points, finishing ahead of Lafayette (39), Holy Cross (35), Lehigh (26), and Colgate (12).
The Bison open the 2017-18 season with a home game against Monmouth on Friday at 4 p.m.
2017 Patriot League Field Hockey Preseason Poll
1. American, 71 points (11 first-place votes)
2. Boston University, 62 (3)
3. Bucknell, 49
4. Lafayette, 39
5. Holy Cross, 35
6. Lehigh, 26
7. Colgate, 12
2017 Patriot League Field Hockey Preseason Major Awards
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Rafaela Rubas, Jr., M, American Preseason
Defensive Player of the Year: Ally Hammel, Jr., D, Boston University
2017 Patriot League Field Hockey Preseason All-League Team
Rafaela Rubas, American (Jr., M)*
Leah DiGiandomenico, American (Sr., F)*
Rachel Stefano, American (Jr., D)*
Ally Hammel, Boston Univ. (Jr., D)*
Kalli Shumock, Boston Univ. (Sr., M)*
Stephanie Dressler, Bucknell (Sr., D)
Nicole Rupnik, Bucknell (Jr., F)
Maureen Connolly, Holy Cross (Sr., F) *
Marcia LaPlante, Holy Cross (So., GK)
Ellen Colbourne, Lafayette (Sr., M/F)
Cody Hunsicker, Lafayette (Sr., D)