WESTON, Mass. – The Regis field hockey team is making final preparations for the 2018 season with a new head coach and a wealth of veteran leadership along with talented newcomers.
Annie Villare begins her first season as head coach of the Pride after serving as an assistant coach at Southern New Hampshire. Villare was a captain during her collegiate career at UMass Lowell, earning a spot on the America East Academic Honor Roll during her time with the River Hawks.
Among the 14 student-athletes returning from last year's squad are seven seniors ready to lead the program into the 2018 campaign. Aineen Callahan tied for the team lead with 10 points on four goals and two assists, including two game-winning goals.
Callahan's classmates Yvonne Abate and Alycia LeConche, along with junior Sidney Lowe, will serve as captains for the 2018 Pride. Forward Mackenzie Cattaruzza and defenders Allison Petillo and Kiana Koke are other seniors expected to see playing time on the field during the course of the year.
The Pride posted a 7-8 overall record in 2017, including a 2-5 mark within the GNAC that put them in a tie for sixth place, but out of the GNAC Tournament. Regis put together a five-game winning streak midway through the season, including overtime wins over Rivier and Johnson & Wales, before losing its last four games of the season.
Regis was picked to finish sixth in the GNAC this season, with defending GNAC Tournament champion Saint Joseph's (Maine) emerging as the preseason favorite with 59 total points, including three first-place votes. Lasell, coming off a 7-0 GNAC mark to top the 2017 regular season standings, also earned three first-place votes on its way to finishing second in the poll with 56 points, while Simmons and Colby-Sawyer each received one first-place vote.
The Pride travel to Danbury, Conn., to open their season against Western Connecticut State Friday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. Western Connecticut State went 6-13 last season, including 5-6 within the Little East Conference to finish in a tie for seventh place in the LEC standings.
In last year's season opener between the same teams in Weston, Regis defeated Western Connecticut State, 1-0, on a goal by Juskiewicz 35 seconds before the end of the first half. That was the first meeting ever between the Pride and the Colonials.
The Regis field hockey team is scheduled to play 15 matches this season, with the home opener coming against Becker Thursday, Sept. 6, starting at 7 p.m.