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Field Hockey Preview: Argentina trip sets positive tone

Sema Kazarian '11 will look to repeat her impressive 2008 season, which resulted in eight goals and one assist.

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College field hockey team finished the 2008 regular season dramatically, with an overtime goal by Rachel Greenwood sealing a 3-2 win over Colby, a victory that catapulted the Bobcats to their first berth in the NESCAC Championship since 2005.

On the heels of a team-building trip to Argentina in August, Bates is primed for more excitement in the 2009 season, judging by the tone of blog entries on the team's trip blog.

Thirteen team members were on the South American excursion, in which the Bobcats had training sessions with Argentinian coaches, played four matches against club teams from around Buenos Aires, spent an afternoon doing a service project with a rural children's center, attended a premier-level women's club game, and saw "as many of the sights as possible," said Wynn Hohlt, entering her 12th season as Bates' head coach. Hohlt labeled the trip "a wonderful opportunity to expose the student-athletes to a very foreign culture (not to mention language) and to experience a very high level of hockey, as well as different coaching and different playing styles."

Having graduated three of its top four scorers from last year in Greenwood, Abby Childs and Emily Sampson, Bates nevertheless returns its top scorer, junior Sema Kazarian (Providence, R.I.; 8 goals, 1 assist), as well as what should be a tough defense in front of NESCAC First Team All-Conference goalie Katie McEnroe (Hockessin, Del.).

McEnroe led the conference in saves per game by a wide margin, with 9.50 per game, 3.37 more than any other netminder in the conference. She also ranked seventh in the NESCAC in save percentage at .764 in becoming Bates' first goalie to be named all-conference since Peggy Ficks '01 in 2000. Seniors Heidi Judkins (Farmington, Maine), a co-captain, and Samantha Rothkopf (Chicago, Ill.), Bates' big threat on penalty corners, return to lead the defense.

At midfield and forward, senior co-captain Morgan Maciewicz (Marblehead, Mass.) head a strong group that should include junior Annie Wilson (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and sophomores Jenna Dannis (Milford, N.H.) and Kelly McManus (Plymouth, N.H.). Maciewicz scored 3 goals with 2 assists a year ago, while McManus also totaled 8 points, including two game-winning goals, and Dannis and Wilson had 3 points apiece.

The Bobcats will officially open their 2009 season with a home game against NESCAC rival Connecticut College on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 11 a.m.